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F-35's AN/APG-81 most powerful radar on single engine jet fighter ever - and it's not even close!

Updated: Feb 3, 2023


AN/APG-81 AESA RADAR THAT IS STANDARD ON F-35's


The F-35, a single engine fighter, can boast of having on having one of the most powerful radars in the world. It is second to none in sophistication, and perhaps 2nd only the F-22 AN/APG-77 radar in terms of effective detection power.

Prior to the F-35, a radar with 1676 power hungry Gallium Arsenide transmit/receive (T/R) modules had never been installed on a single-engine fighter due to the fact that that power and cooling requirements for such a big radar typically requires large twin-engined fighters.


So, the F-35 has the distinction of being a single engine fighter attempting to handle heating and cooling requirements that exceed those of most twin-engined fighters.

For comparison, the the latest F-16's AN/APG-80 radar has around 1000 T/R modules and the F-22's AN/APG-77 radar has 2000 T/R modules.


Note: F-22 is significantly larger and it two engines collectively product 60 to almost 100 percent more power than than the F-35's single engine.



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