AN/APQ-164 Radar

APQ-164 B-1B Radar

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The AN/APQ-164 radar is an advanced phased array fire control, navigation and weapon targeting radar for the B-1B aircraft. Selected line replaceable units are essentially common with the APG-68 used in the F-16 C/D.

The APQ-164 provides the B-1B with a Monopulse Ground Map (MGM) for an all weather area navigation aid. It provides a precise all-weather automatic Terrain Following (TF) and Terrain Avoidance (TA) capability for the B-1B. The APQ-164 provides the B-1B with a high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for navigation and targeting nuclear and strategic weapons in all weather conditions. The radar can be modified with a Multitarget Track (MTT) software mode for Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) deployment.

The system comprises a two axis electrically scanned phased array antenna, a radar receiver transmitter, a programmable signal processor, dual mode transmitter and a video signal processor.

AN/APQ-164 B-1B Product/System Overview

The EAR program was the development test bed for the future APQ-164 B-1B radar system. The system was the first ever, passive element phased array with a beam steering controller and a real time processor that allowed simultaneous Scanning Aperture Radar (SAR) and Terrain Following (TF) imagery. The system was first flown on a B-52 in 1977. The HELRATS system was used to simultaneously track two missiles and then feed the signal via fiber-optic cable to a system that used the data for targeting.

B-1B was the first development and production installation of an ESA radar system, which permitted a shared radar aperture and timeline allowing one radar to perform both Automatic Terrain Following and navigation radar functions. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) developed for 10-foot to 160-foot resolutions. Demonstrated low probability of intercept TF and UHR/SAR modes. Demonstrated GPS Relative Targeting System (RTS) through measurement of quadratic phase error.

Points of Interest/Milestones:

  • First production delivery was in 1984
  • More than 120 systems delivered
  • Highly regarded by B-1B combat crews for effectiveness and reliability
Technical Experiences and Features:
  • Multi-mode interleaved system with large, 2-D passive ESA providing safe and robust Terrain Following (TF).
  • LPI waveforms and power management provided very low intercepts while achieving accurate measurements with very low peak power levels.
  • ESA Air-to-Ground Modes - All weather precision strike mode capability: Moving target algorithm development (Slow Ground Moving Target Indication/Track (GMTI/T), clutter cancellation, Monopulse height above target) for the direct attack of moving targets (endo and exo clutter) is operationally proven.

 Related: SABR-GS AESA for the B-1 Bomber