- , June 1, 2018

Quick Facts

Role and Mobility Instantaneous tracking and multi-target tracking, and Air-mobile
Frequency X-Band
Range 150 km
Air Defense Interceptor Systems F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler
Targets Air-to-air and ground-to-air missiles, Aircraft, and UAVs
Status/Exports Operational; Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Switzerland, Australia
Producer Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems/Northrop Grumman


The AN/APG-79 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar is an airborne radar made for F/A-18 E/F aircrafts.[i] It is comprised of numerous solid-state transmit and receive modules to practically eliminate the possibility of mechanical breakdown. With a range of 150 km, the AN/APG-79 provides instantaneous track updates and multi-target tracking capabilities. Its X-band radar allows for higher resolution imaging, helping with target identification and discrimination. The AN/APG-79 is the replacement radar for the AN/APG-73.[ii]

Strategic Implications

The AN/APG-79 is strategically valuable because of its active electronic beam scanning. This feature allows the radar beam to be steered at nearly the speed of light, optimizing situational awareness and providing superior air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities.[iii] In turn, the agile beam enables the multimode radar to interleave in near-real time allowing the pilot and crew to use both modes simultaneously. Also, unlike previous radars in this family, the AN/APG-79 has internal monitoring diagnosis that can be interpreted in the field and on the front lines, lowing costs and improving readiness during wartime.[iv]


November 2016: Raytheon was awarded a $9.6 million Navy contract to provide engineering technical services and field services for the AN/APG-79.

January 2013: The Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) disclosed a long history of problems for the APG-79 radar in initial operational testing.[v]

November 2011: Raytheon delivered its 300th AN/APG-79 AESA radar system.

July 2008: Raytheon delivers 100 APG-79 sets to the Navy.

June 2008: The Navy received its first APG-79 equipped Boeing EA-18G Growler.

January 2007: The radar had been installed in 28 aircraft.

December 2006: The APG-79 radar completed formal operational evaluation testing.

December 2005: The system successfully delivered multiple Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) using real-time targeting coordinates.[vi]

April 2005: Boeing and Raytheon debuted an F/A-18F Block II Super Hornet equipped with the AN/APG-79 AESA radar system at St. Louis ceremony.

June 2003: Flight tests of the APG-79 began.[vii]

2001: Contract awarded to Raytheon to begin fielding of the AN/APG-79 as a replacement for the AN/APG-73.

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    [ii] Ibid.