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L3Harris Technologies announced achieving a critical design review (CDR) milestone for the Viper Shield electronic warfare (EW) system, which will provide improved offensive and defensive EW capabilities for F-16 Block 70/72 Foreign Military Sales (FMS) aircraft.
The AN/ALQ-254(V)1 Viper Shield successfully completed a CDR milestone with partner Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force observing. Designed as the baseline EW system on the new F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft, the system will provide a virtual electronic shield that improves aircraft protection through a multiple digital radio frequency, memory-based jamming system.
“Viper Shield is the highest-performance, lowest-risk EW option for F-16 Vipers in an increasingly dangerous world,” said Ed Zoiss, President, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris. “As the only EW system for these aircraft to successfully achieve this CDR milestone, we are one step closer to helping our global customers detect and defeat modern advanced threats.”
In late 2022, Viper Shield successfully demonstrated interoperability with the new APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array radar during testing at the Lockheed Martin Systems Integration Lab. Fully integrated and internally mounted, it features an open-systems architecture using commercial-off-the-shelf technology for easier future upgrades and lower lifecycle costs.
L3Harris removed the need for U.S. government funding to develop the Viper Shield EW system for the F-16 Block 70/72 FMS aircraft by leveraging internal research and development investments and international commitments.
With the approach of the next critical milestone in the second quarter of 2023, Viper Shield will return to the Lockheed Martin Systems Integration Lab with newly integrated hardware and software to demonstrate full integration of the next planned increment of capabilities with the F-16 Block 70/72 FMS aircraft.