April 13, 2021
from Pat Host
Lockheed Martin in February L3Harris has the sole source of a development contract to place its new electronic warfare system AN / ALQ-254 (V) 1 Viper Shield (EW) on the F-16V Block 70/72 Fighting Falcon.
Viper Shield will have software-defined technology components that detect digital radar threats and provide stable countermeasures in a fully integrated, internally mounted system, according to a company statement. The base version of the Viper Shield will be integrated into the fuselage of the aircraft, saving space for additional features, such as a combustion chamber that can be attached from the outside to increase the scope of the mission.
Illustration of an artist on an F-16V Block 70/72 aircraft. An expert said Lockheed Martin was investing in upgrades to the F-16V Block 70/72 to prepare it for a possible future acquisition by the US Air Force. (L3Harris)
Ted Damaskinos, vice president of L3Harris and general manager of electronic security solutions, told Jane’s on March 18, that company has a complete Viper Shield design and is discussing with Lockheed Martin about production, timing and results.
The advanced digital warning radar technology will be folded into the active electronic scanned array (AESA) of the F-16V Block 70/72 to give pilots awareness of the situation. The jamming system based on digital radio frequency (RF) will combat advanced threats.
An expert said Lockheed Martin was investing in upgrades to the F-16V Block 70/72 to prepare it for a possible future acquisition by the United States Air Force (USAF). Brian Clark, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, told Jane’s on April 6 that investing in an EW suite like the Viper Shield was an affordable way for Lockheed Martin to give the aircraft self-defense and sensor capability improvements so the F-16V Block 70/72 could operate in a moderately contested environment as airbase protection or air defense patrols of the country.
Lockheed Martin in February L3Harris with the sole source of the development contract to put its new an …