Northrop Grumman said on Jan. 11 that it is developing the AN/APG-85 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar for Lot 17 and beyond of the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter.

The APG-85 will be the follow-on to the F-35’s current AN/APG-81 AESA radar, built by Northrop Grumman at its Linthicum Heights, Md., plant.

“The capability of the F-35 advanced radar will enhance the DoD’s ability to execute the National Defense Strategy in the future,” the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) said in a Jan. 11 response to questions. “Therefore, certain information will continue to be protected by enhanced security measures due to the critical nature of the technology.”

The F-35 JPO did not reveal what features the APG-85 will have that the APG-81 does not, but said that the APG-85 “is modernized to be the top-of-the-line radar available today, ensuring American dominance in the air.”

The F-35 program declined to release funding and contract details for the APG-85. The F-35 JPO has said that the APG-81 has 1,676 Gallium Nitride (GaN) transmit/receive (T/R) modules, but the F-35 JPO and Northrop Grumman declined to say whether the APG-85 will also be a Gallium Nitride-based radar.

We do not disclose technical information on operational capabilities,” the F-35 JPO said on Jan. 11.