During the recent Drop 2 integration event at Lockheed Martin’s Systems Integration Lab, L3Harris’ advanced Viper Shield electronic warfare (EW) suite demonstrated full radio frequency compatibility with the F-16’s on-board APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.
The testing included continuously exposing Viper Shield with APG-83 energy for more than 12 hours to test whether the radar pulses would interfere with EW functionality. The test proved Viper Shield’s ability to filter out signal processing streams from the APG-83 radar pulses without any performance compromise.
“Situational awareness is essential to mission success, especially in highly dynamic and unpredictable situations,” said Patrick Creighton, Vice President and General Manager, of L3Harris Electronic Defensive Solutions. “When these two systems work in concert, they’re able to effectively detect and protect against threats like never before.”
The Drop 2 event marked the second interoperability test for the two systems; the first took place in mid-2022, with similarly successful results.
“These tests continue to highlight Viper Shield’s advanced capabilities and ability to integrate smoothly with the F-16’s on-board systems,” Creighton said. “That all adds up to more effective missions for decades to come.”
Multiple international partners already committed to the Vipershield, with many more air services around the globe engaged in discussions on the system. Introduced in 2021, Viper Shield EW is custom-designed to provide protection and offensive EW capabilities on the fourth-generation Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70/72 multirole aircraft. Software-defined technology components create a virtual electronic shield around the aircraft, revealing digital radar threats and providing robust countermeasure capabilities in a fully integrated, internally mounted system.
With lower lifecycle costs, easier upgrades, increased reliability and reduced weight, Viper Shield sets a new industry standard as the highest-performing, lowest-risk and most cost-effective EW system for advanced F-16s.
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