Vanguard Family of Radars

Vanguard Family of Radars 

Northrop Grumman’s Vanguard radar is a scalable, multifunction, open architecture solution that utilizes mature radar technology to provide a multitude of highly effective capabilities in a flexible package.

Hardware Enabled

With its modular, panel-based structure, each radar panel provides a flexible building block that can be tailored to meet ever-changing mission requirements. Each panel can act independently as its own radar, but can also be connected with the desired number of other radar panels to form one single, larger radar array. Each panel is also field replaceable, creating life-cycle cost savings and preventing long maintenance delays that prevent operation.

Large and small systems alike can use the same Vanguard radar building block, allowing for rapid, cost effective production and maximum system maturity.

Software Defined

In addition to its structural flexibility, the Vanguard solution is software defined, allowing the user to exploit the unit’s digital output and common processing approach in a number of ways. The radar can operate in several frequencies, improving all-weather performance, and is designed to industry standards of open architecture. As new modes and radar capabilities are developed, the Vanguard system can quickly adopt these behaviors and incorporate them, including modes produced by third parties.


Through only six months of flight testing, Vanguard has demonstrated the following key capabilities.

    • All-weather performance in both the X and Ku frequencies
    • Wide area surveillance
    • Advanced electronic protection
    • Tracking low velocity targets (GMTI, DMTI modes)
    • Radar mapping (SAR modes)
    • Open Mission Suite Interface to BMC2 systems

Production Ready

Vanguard is produced on the same AESA radar production line as Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 SABR for the F-16 and APG-81 for the F-35, ensuring production line maturity and the ability to quickly respond to customer needs. The panel-approach allows Northrop Grumman to build larger arrays on small radar, high-rate production lines, improving efficiency.