The U.S. Air Force on June 9 awarded Raytheon Technologies [RTX] a contract worth up to $3.1 billion for the production, modernization, and support of APG-82 Eagle Vision radars for Boeing [BA] F-15EXs and possibly other foreign and domestic F-15s.

The contract is valid through 2036 and does not include any immediate delivery orders for Foreign Military Sales (FMS), “but does allow for future FMS orders,” the Air Force said. Raytheon is to build the radars at the company’s El Segundo, Calif. plant.

In 2010, Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles received the the first APG-82s to replace the aircraft’s Raytheon APG-70 radar, first fielded in 1987.

In 2019, under the B-52 bomber’s radar modernization program (RMP), Boeing picked Raytheon to design and build an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, based on AESA technologies in Raytheon’s APG-79/APG-82 family, to replace the bomber’s APQ-166 terrain-following and mapping radars by Northrop Grumman [NOC] (Defense Daily, July 11, 2019).

David Rockwell, a senior military electronics analyst at the Teal Group, said last year that the “new normal” for military radar programs involves just two companies, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, and “de facto non-competitive pricing for AESA upgrades.”

Northrop Grumman had pitched its AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) for the B-52 RMP. That AESA radar is the Air Force choice to modernize its F-16 fighters.

While the Air Force and other countries chose SABR, the competing Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR) was developed as a modular AESA radar intended as a “drop-in” upgrade for F-16s and the Boeing F/A-18–a flexible upgrade requiring minimal aircraft modification and aircrew transition training.

RACR “leverages Raytheon’s current AESA radars for the F/A-18 Super Hornet (APG-79), F-15C (APG-63), F-15E (APG-82), and B-2 (APQ-181), and can reportedly be tailored to any fighter platform’s size, space, and radome requirements,” per Teal Group.

The latter said that the Raytheon APG-79(V)4 [RACR] will be the most affordable military radar–between $5 million and $7 million per unit–“at least until F-16 upgrades start to catch up.”