EL SEGUNDO, Calif. --- The revolutionary APG-79 AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar developed by Raytheon Company's Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) has scored another first. The system successfully delivered multiple JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munition) using real-time targeting coordinates derived from a high resolution SAR (synthetic aperture radar) image during recent testing at the U.S. Navy's China Lake facility.
This latest demonstration confirms the radar's real-time targeting capability and establishes a new standard for time-critical precision strike. The APG-79 radar also allows aircrews to operate at a greater stand-off distance, in all weather and has the ability to target multiple coordinates off the same map, which has not been possible before.
To further demonstrate the synergy of the onboard Raytheon sensors, the JDAM test also employed the ATFLIR (Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared) system to provide imagery of the targeting area. Interfacing seamlessly with the APG-79, ATFLIR recorded the impact of the weapons against two diverse targets, confirming simultaneous weapon delivery while providing post-impact bomb damage information.
Erv Grau, Raytheon vice president for Air Combat Avionics, said: "The beauty of our AESA radar is the revolutionary real-time targeting capability it brings to the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. This has not been done before. Simultaneous air-to-ground weapons delivery is now possible against multiple targets using our high resolution SAR images. Furthermore, we were able to demonstrate the seamless operation between the radar and ATFLIR which further enhances the superiority of the Super Hornet."
The APG-79 is the world's only air-to-air and air-to-surface multi-mode AESA radar in production today.
"These tests prove that the radar can work flawlessly with the other critical mission systems on the aircraft, such as the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing system, the Multi-function Information Distribution System, ATFLIR and both the ALR-67v3 and IDECM electronic warfare systems," said Chris Chadwick, vice president for Boeing's F/A-18 program. "It is this integrated weapon system approach that will give our warfighters the edge they need to dominate the battlespace."
The program has also been highly successful during the recent air-to-air live fire demonstrations last month in which an AMRAAM was successfully deployed. This proved that weapons delivery from an AESA equipped F/A-18 can now be executed at ranges not possible before.
"In the past, the weapon's capability exceeded that of the aircraft. The missile could reach the target, but the radar couldn't see it. Now, with the APG-79 radar, the aircraft's capability exceeds that of the weapon, and this gives us an enormous advantage when prosecuting a mission," said Capt. Aaron "Slime" Bowman, U.S. Navy AESA program manager for the F/A-18.
The APG-79 program is on target to transition from engineering manufacturing development into integrated test and evaluation shortly. This will be followed by the start of operational evaluation in late spring 2006.
So far each phase has been successfully completed on schedule with outstanding results.
Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems is the leading provider of sensor systems giving warfighters the most accurate and timely information available for the network-centric battlefield.
With 2004 revenues of $4 billion and 13,000 employees, SAS is headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., with additional facilities in Goleta, Calif.; Forest, Miss.; Dallas, McKinney and Plano, Texas; and several international locations.
Raytheon Company, with 2004 sales of $20.2 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide.