Thursday, February 11, 2010

Singapore Airshow: Licenses in Place for SABR

Defense News


Singapore Airshow: Licenses in Place for SABR

By Wendell Minnick

SINGAPORE - Northrop Grumman's Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) program has secured two DSP-5 permanent export license approvals by the U.S. State Department for two unidentified counties, said J. Dave Silvia, manager, business development, global sensor solutions, Northrop. SABR is a full-performance fire control AESA radar

Silvia would only acknowledge the two countries were in two different regions, but no other details on the identity were given. The licenses, acquired over the past two months, allow Northrop to provide technical briefs to the customers. "We can't offer any timelines at this point," he said.

Internationally there are between 1,500-2,000 F-16 platforms that could qualify for a retrofit with SABR.

"We unveiled SABR at the Singapore Airshow in 2008. It can be retrofitted in legacy fighter aircraft with little or no structural modification," he said.

Northrop is still awaiting a decision from the U.S. Air Force (USAF). In November 2009 the first USAF F-16 outfitted with SABR conducted a flight demonstration. "Whether the USAF will make a decision soon is still unknown," Silvia said.

SABR modes demonstrated so far include air-to-air search and track, synthetic aperture radar, ground moving target indicator, and air-to-surface ranging.

He said there were a number of advantages over M-scan radars, including greater situational awareness, greater detection and range, faster area search and target acquisition, and more precise multiple target tracking.