Development of the F-20 Nose Radome,
NORTHROP CORP HAWTHORNE CA AIRCRAFT GROUP
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Northrops newest fighter aircraft, the F-20 Tigershark, is based on the successful aerodynamic design and size of the F-5 Tiger II aircraft. It has a single engine providing 80 percent more thrust than that of the twin-engine Tiger II, digital avionics, and a newly designed ANAPG-67 V X-band radar. This coherent pulse-doppler radar provides both look-up and look-down target detection and tracking. Successful operation of this radar necessitated an antennaradome system which provides low RMS side-lobe levels to minimize false alarm rate in the look-down mode, and high antenna gainlow radome loss to maximize radar range. These system requirements prompted a redesign of the F-5 Shark Shape nose section which had been aerodynamically configured to improve the post-stall handling qualities of the Tiger II aircraft. The design change included 1 provisions for a larger radar antenna, 2 a clean radome, i.e., no pitot-static probe, air lines or heater wires, and 3 a blunted radome shape, designed to preserve aerodynamic handling qualities and provide the required electrical characteristics.