Air Force awards Northrop Grumman F-16 upgrade contract

By Michael Marrow / May 4, 2022 at 4:22 PM

Northrop Grumman was awarded an unpriced change order contract to continue preparation for the AN/ALQ-257 Integrated Viper Electronic Warfare Suite, according to a company press release.

The UCO follows a $40 million other transaction agreement modification award that Northrop Grumman received in June 2021 to develop the IVEWS. The UCO was awarded March 9.

The IVEWS program is aimed at upgrading the F-16’s electronic warfare capabilities and is in the engineering and manufacturing development phase, according to James Conroy, vice president of navigation, targeting and survivability at Northrop Grumman.

“We continue to develop the Integrated Viper Electronic Warfare Suite (IVEWS) to provide protection against increasing near-peer threats in contested electromagnetic spectrum environments,” Conroy said in a statement to Inside Defense. “IVEWS uses an ultra-wideband architecture to detect and defeat these threats, including millimeter-wave systems. We are using this common architecture in multiple electronic warfare systems and are able to scale these capabilities to fit a range of platforms. IVEWS has also demonstrated pulse-to-pulse interoperability with the AN/APG-83 SABR radar, a critical capability as fourth-generation aircraft gain AESA radars.”

Work will continue over the next 18 months to develop and install the system for flight testing, according to an Air Force press release. The EMD phase will run through September 2023 and delivery is expected by November 2023, Conroy said. The IVEWS is expected to be fielded beginning in 2024.