Fighting Falcon loaded with a synthetic aperture radar pod

The United States Air National Guard-Air Force Reserve Command Test Center operates the F-16C from Tucson International Airport, Arizona. The unit’s jets have been flying with the ASQ-236 radar pod for some time, but they are rarely caught on camera. Block 32 F-16C, 86-0212, was seen departing Tucson International Airport on March 9, 2018, as part of a group of four of the unit’s Fighting Falcons. According to the US Air Force, the ASQ-236 contains a synthetic aperture radar that provides detailed mapping for surveillance, coordinate generation and bomb impact assessment purposes. The system provides the ability to precisely geolocate points of interest and conduct surveillance activities day or night, in adverse weather conditions. Self-contained, the system comprises an antenna attached to a positioner plate that allows it to move about the roll axis, an inertial navigation system, and an environmental cooling system. The pod is more commonly seen on F-15E Strike Eagles. Berry Vissers