AESA radars installed on 9 U.S. Air National Guard F-16sNews
December 30, 2022
DULUTH, Minnesota. The U.S. Air National Guard has installed active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars on nine Block 50 F-16CM Fighting Falcons from the 148th Fighter Wing, according to an Air National Guard statement.
The 148th Fighter Wing is stationed in Minnesota, and is one of five F-16 Suppression/Destruction of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD/DEAD) units in the U.S. Air Force, and one of two such units in the Air National Guard.
"The SEAD/DEAD mission seeks to disrupt or destroy enemy air defenses, to include surface to air missiles and integrated air defense systems (IADS)," the statement reads. "The 148th most recently conducted SEAD/DEAD during their 2022 deployment to the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing, Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia."
The aircraft are responsible for intercepting temporary flight restriction violators, investigating aircraft that are out of radio contact, and scrambling against unknown aircraft. The AESA radars are intended to allow pilots to be better equipped to find targets on the air and on the ground, the statement reads.
"We took apart the front end of the jet, removing the antenna, computer and all other old radar components, then the Lockheed Martin technicians installed the new radar components and performed operational checks," said Sgt. Scott Phillips, the lead 148th Fighter Wing avionics technician assigned to the project.