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F-35 Flies with Radar Engaged: Northrop Grumman announced Tuesday that its APG-81 active electronically scanned array radar system performed well during its first use aboard BF-4, one of the F-35 test aircraft. "[The] radar met and exceeded performance expectations, tracking long range targets at all aspect angles with excellent stability," said Jeff Leavitt, vice president of combat avionics at Northrop's Electronic Systems sector. He said the system detected airborne targets before the radars on F-16 and F-18 chase airplanes. Leavitt said subsequent test flights will assess the APG-81's high-resolution synthetic aperture radar modes and additional advanced capabilities. BF-4 is the first F-35 test aircraft to be fitted with the sensor package destined for the strike fighter. BF-4 flew for the first time in April.