The U.S. Air Drive took one other step within the effort to modernize the digital warfare (EW) capabilities of the F-16 fleet. On March 10, prematurely of a multi-million greenback contract modification award anticipated later this 12 months, the Fighters and Superior Plane Directorate issued an Unpriced Change Order (UCO) modification to Northrop Grumman for the F-16 Built-in Viper Digital Warfare Suite (IVEWS). The UCO follows a $40 million Different Transaction Settlement (OTA) modification award the corporate obtained in June 2021 to develop an IVEWS environmentally and security of flight licensed prototype.

Over the subsequent 18 months, Northrop Grumman will full IVEWS – additionally known as AN/ALQ-257 – improvement and set up the system on a number of F-16s for flight testing. Further improvement, integration, {hardware} qualification testing, and Engineering and Manufacturing Growth (EMD) asset procurement will assist the IVEWS Developmental Take a look at/Operational Take a look at (DT/OT) and Operational Evaluation (OA) in early 2023.
IVEWS gives the subsequent era EW system that’s inner to the F-16 and interoperable with the onboard APG-83 Lively Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. It’s designed to Open Missions Programs necessities and provisioned for long-term progress functionality to assist future upgrades such because the Fiber Optic Tow Decoy, Adaptive/Cognitive Processing, and Open System Structure compliance.


Totally digital and based on safe, modular, open techniques design ideas, Northrop Grumman’s ultra-wideband digital receiver/exciter at its core gives important benefits over heritage techniques.

“This contract and total program effort are very important to extend the safety of our F-16 operators as they execute their missions in contested environments,” stated Maj. Charles Prichard, Chief of Digital Warfare Integration inside the directorate’s F-16 System Program Workplace. “For the F-16 Viper to fulfill assigned mission units according to the CSAF’s Fighter Roadmap and function in sure environments, the fleet wants superior digital warfare (EW) system. IVEWS strains up with HAF/ACC’s EW plan and not too long ago turned the answer that improves the F-16’s survivability and lethality towards present and rising threats.”

A key a part of the trouble has been using the Center Tier of Acquisition (MTA) method which leveraged competitors between protection firms to understand important value and schedule financial savings with out sacrificing functionality. This allowed the Air Drive to strategically choose IVEWS because the superior fleet EW answer for the F-16. MTA is a pathway that cuts out all the pink tapes, and permits you to go quicker and cheaper with out sacrificing functionality. The competitors it promotes is wholesome as a result of it creates incentives and permits the trade to attempt to remedy an issue for you and get superior functionality to the warfighter as rapidly as doable. IVEWS had a implausible 12 months, shifting from lab prototype to flight demonstration. It has turn out to be Air Fight Command’s F-16 superior fleet answer and a ‘will need to have,’ prime precedence program. IVEWS will preserve the Viper related and deadly all through its prolonged service life. The manufacturing and fielding of IVEWS is predicted to start in 2024.