Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The AN/APG-65 was an all-weather multimode airborne radar designed by Hughes Aircraft for US Navy to be used on the F/A-18 Hornet and a variety of fighter aircraft types. The APG-65 was an I-band (8 to 12 GHz) pulse-Doppler radar which was conceived for both air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. For air-to-air operations it incorporated a variety of search, track and track-while-scan modes to give the pilot a complete look-down/shoot-down capability. Air-to-surface modes included doppler beam sharpened sector and patch mapping, medium range synthetic aperture radar, fixed and moving ground target track and sea surface search. In the F/A-18, the radar was installed in a slide-out nose rack to facilitate maintenance.

The AN/APG-65 was fitted with programmable digital computers which gave it flexibility. The built-in test system provided total end-to-end radar preflight checkout and continuous monitoring. To provide maximum detection range capability against nose aspect targets, the radar also featured a velocity search, range-while-search, track-while-scan, which, when combined with an autonomous missile such as AIM-120, gave the aircraft a launch-and-leave capability, single target track, gun director and raid assessment, operating modes. The AN/APG-65 was developed in the late 1970s by Hughes, but also manufactured by Raytheon, and had been operational since 1983. From 1992, it was replaced by the AN/APG-73, which is an upgraded version of the APG-65.