AN/APG-66

Friday, December 24, 2010

The AN/APG-66 is a solid state, X-band, multimode radar used by US Air Force in the F-16 fighter aircraft. This radar system is composed of a transmitter, a digital signal processor, a radar computer, and an antenna. The AN/APG-66 was developed by Westinghouse in the 1970s, but it is today manufactured by Northrop Grumman. In dogfight mode, the radar is capable of scanning a 20 degrees x 20 degrees field, but in high-g maneuvers, it can scan a 40 degrees x10 degrees pattern. In lookdown mode, the AN/APG-66 has the capability of detecting a fighter-size plane at a range of 34.5 Nautical miles (55.6 kilometers). This medium range, pulse-doppler radar is also used by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's C-550 Cessna Citation and Piper PA-42 Cheyenne II's as well as the Small Aerostat Surveillance System (SASS).

The AN/APG-66 radar had been manufactured in fourteen different variants with the APG-66(V)2, the APG-66(V)2A, and APG-66(V)3 being the most widely used. APG-66(V)2 is an upgrade of base radar, fitted with new signal processor, higher output power, improved reliability. AN/APG-66(V)2A had a new combined signal and data processor that provides seven times the speed and 20 times the memory of the older radar computer and digital signal processor line replaceable units. APG-66(V)3 has CW illumination capability, possibly for export to Taiwan. The latter is also employed in select US Navy P-3 Orion aircraft as part of a Counter Drug Update (CDU) for Counternarcotics (CN) surveillance and interdictioon operations in support of USCG.

Specifications for the AN/APG-66

Frequency: 6.2 to 10.9 GHz
Azimuth angular coverage: ±10 degrees / ± 30 degrees / ± 60 degrees
Search cone: 120 degrees × 120 degrees
Volume: 0.08 m³ to 0.102 m³ depending on configuration
Weight: 98 to 135 kg depending on configuration