USMC begins AESA upgrade for ‘classic' Hornets

by Gareth Jennings

The US Marine Corps (USMC) has begun the process of replacing the radars of some its Boeing F/A-18 legacy Hornet combat aircraft with a new active electronically scanned array (AESA) system, with the first procurement contract awarded on 26 March.

The US Marine Corps is to fit the Raytheon AN/APG-79(V)4 AESA radar to 98 of its classic Hornet aircraft. (Raytheon )

The US Marine Corps is to fit the Raytheon AN/APG-79(V)4 AESA radar to 98 of its classic Hornet aircraft. (Raytheon )

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has awarded Raytheon USD30.2 million to procure AN/APG-79(V)4 AESA radar systems for the first nine USMC F/A-18C/D Hornets, with deliveries to be completed by May 2022.

This first contract comes 14 months after Raytheon announced that it had been selected to fit the AN/APG-79(V)4 AESA radar to 98 of the USMC’s F/A-18C/D fleet, replacing its own AN/APG-73 mechanically scanned radar. According to the company’s statement at the time, deliveries will run from 2020 through to 2022. No contract value was disclosed.

Jane’s first reported the USMC’s plans to upgrade the radar on its Hornets when the NAVAIR issued a request for information (RFI) in March 2018. At that time it was noted that the change to an AESA system was needed due to the increased reliability and sustainability requirements, as well as the associated capability improvements. The 98 AESAs and 14 spare systems are being procured to cover seven fleet squadrons of 12 aircraft each.

The AN/APG-79(V)4 is a scaled version of the AN/APG-79 AESA radar already fitted to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, and shares 90% commonality for synergies in maintenance and support. The USMC will benefit from the same global sustainment and upgrade path already in place for the AN/APG-79.

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The US Marine Corps (USMC) has begun the process of replacing the radars of some its Boeing F/A-18 l...

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