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FMS customers to equip F-16 Block 70/72 fighters with Viper Shield EW system

Bahrain is one of five FMS customers that are to equip their new F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft with the Viper Shield EW system. (US Air Force)

Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers of the Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70/72 Fighting Falcon are to equip their new combat aircraft with the L3Harris AN/ALQ-254(V)1 Viper Shield electronic warfare (EW) system.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) disclosed the development in a contract notification posted to its website on 2 July, saying that five FMS customers of the latest variant F-16 will receive the system through to 30 June 2028.

“This modification involves Foreign Military Sales to the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Slovak Republic, and the Taiwan Air Force,” the DoD said, adding that the deal is valued at USD897.4 million.

Capable of being integrated with the AN/APG-83 radar of the F-16 Block 70/72, the Viper Shield combines both radar warning and jamming capabilities. As noted by JanesC4ISR & Mission Systems: Air , the Viper Shield is an internally integrated system that is designed to improve the F-16's survivability in dense and complex battlefield scenarios by providing proactive situational awareness of the electronic battlefield arena.

“Viper Shield's radar warning system with digital receiver technology detects and locates the radar signals emerging from various sources. Combined with onboard APG-83 AESA [active electronically scanned array] radar, the Viper Shield provides an enhanced situational awareness. On detection of the threats, the target information is cued to the digital radio frequency memory (DRFM)-based jamming system that uses the predefined jamming techniques to degrade or defeat the emitter threat,” according to JanesC4ISR & Mission Systems: Air .

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