The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is seeking information for an upgrade to the radar systems on its AC-130J gunships and MC-130J II special operations transport/tanker aircraft. This upgrade involves replacing the existing AN/APG-241 radar with an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, known for its superior range, speed, and counter-jamming capabilities.
The proposed AESA radar for the C-130 fleet is expected to significantly enhance operational capabilities. This radar system is designed to engage targets effectively in all weather conditions and track moving ground targets over greater distances without relying on external support. It will feature advanced modes like synthetic aperture radar imaging and a ground-moving target indicator. Importantly, the radar is expected to provide Category 1 (CAT 1) targeting data, the highest level of targeting accuracy defined in the U.S. military. This upgrade is part of a broader effort to enhance the C-130 fleet’s sensor capabilities, including the integration of the Northrop Grumman ALQ-251 radio frequency countermeasure system, to ensure the aircraft’s survivability in complex electromagnetic environments.