WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass.
-- The 104th Fighter Wing accepted its final F-15 Eagle equipped with the advanced Active Electronic Scanned Array Radar (AESA) on November 12, 2013.
The AESA radar is a significant upgrade to the current operational radars used in many of the Air National Guard's F-15 fleet. AESA provides improved radar reliability, maintainability and performance, as well as reduced support costs.
The AESA radar replaces the current APG-63(v)1 mechanically scanned radar with a stationary array of over one thousand transmitter-receiver modules. These modules have the capability to perform different detection, tracking, communication, and jamming functions. AESA radars provide significant increases in the F-15s ability to detect, track, and eliminate multiple threats faster and with greater efficiency.
The addition of the AESA radars ensures that the 104th Fighter Wing will be well positioned to provide continuous protection of the northeast region. The radar allows for significantly improved capability to the F-15 pilots as well as support personnel. If the previous technology was comparable to a search light the AESA is more akin to a floodlight.
AESA is an asset that allows F-15 pilots a wider field of vision. “AESA is a giant leap in technology and gives us increased situational awareness which allows us to make more efficient intercept decisions,” said Maj. Jared Conaboy, 104th Wing Weapons Chief.
Maintainers are also grateful for the new technology that will not only improve performance, but save valuable time that can be devoted in other areas. “The biggest advantage is saving us hundreds of man-hours due to the quality of the radar. With the previous system, we would be busy every day fixing problems that would emerge. With the AESA, we will go weeks without having an issue,” said SMSgt. Roy Watkins, 104th FW Avionics Flight line Supervisor.
“We are also happy to have the ability to consult a Boeing representative who can provide guidance or answer questions,” said Watkins, in reference to the onsite advisor provided by the contractor.
The AESA-equipped F-15C will remain a force multiplier for decades to come.