Friday, December 3, 2010

The AN/APG-71 was a multi-mode, X-Band pulse-doppler radar that was developed in the 1980s from the AN/AWG-9 by the firm Hughes Aircraft for the US Navy, which ordered it to equip the F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft. The AN/APG-71 system featured monopulse angle tracking, a data processor, a receiver, digital display, a low-sidelobe antenna, and a sidelobe-blanking guard channel; all of which were intended to make the radar less vulnerable to jamming. The AN/APG-71 had a 460-mile range, but the antenna design limited this to only 230 miles (370 km). Use of datalinked data allowed two or more F-14D's to operate the system at its maximum range.

Hughes delivered enough AN/APG-71 radars and spare parts to equip 55 F-14Ds before the program was scaled back as a cost-cutting measure and eventually canceled. The F-14 was officially retired from United States Navy service on September 22, 2006, with the last flight occurring October 4, 2006. The installation of a new AN/APG-71 radar in the F-14D offered a six-fold processing improvement over the F-14A's analog system and improved target detection and tracking capabilities in a heavy enemy electronic countermeasures environment by 40 percent.