WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman announced an Air Force award to complete a project for the electronic warfare suite for the F-16 fighter jet.

The goal of the prototyping is to protect pilots from increasing radio frequency-guided weapons by detecting, identifying and defeating them, a Jan. 11 announcement from Northrop said. A company did not provide a dollar amount for the award, granted under the Pentagon’s other transaction authority.

Initially selected in 2019 to prototype a design, Northrop was asked to design an internally mounted electronic warfare suite and digital radar warning receiver for F-16s, Ryan Tintner, vice president, navigation, targeting and survivability at Northrop, said in an emailed statement.

Northrop’s system will provide radar warning and advanced countermeasure capabilities and will be compatible with Northrop’s AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) aboard F-16s. As these aircraft acquire modern active electronically scanned arrays, such as the SABR, the F-16′s electronic warfare capabilities must integrate with those sensors, Tintner said.

“The electronic warfare suite will significantly increase protection to F-16 operators as they execute their missions in increasingly contested environments,” Tintner said. “This system draws on the best of our experience from multiple programs to create an effective and affordable solution to keep the Viper relevant throughout its service life.”

The design uses open systems, ultra wide-band architecture for greater instantaneous bandwidth to react to modern threats, and it is scalable to meet operational needs of the U.S. and international partners, the company added.

Northrop received notification for this downselect in November 2020.

Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.

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