Eurofighter GmbH and Euroradar, together with their industrial partners, have begun full scale development of a latest generation Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. The target in-service date for the new radar is 2015 to meet the requirements of Eurofighter Partner Nations and export customers.
Eurofighter CEO Enzo Casolini said of the decision “This is an important step in the Eurofighter programme and will ensure that Typhoon continues to lead the way as the world’s best new generation multi-role combat aircraft. In consultation with our Core Nation customers we can offer an AESA capability that far exceeds any other radar available. This capability will mean that Eurofighter is in the best possible position when offering Typhoon to the export market. The in-service date means we are perfectly positioned to respond to the complex and demanding requirements of the air forces”.
The decision means that Eurofighter will further develop the capability of the Typhoon aircraft to enhance its radar performance, building on preliminary development and flight testing undertaken since 2007. Although the current Mechanically Scanned (M-Scan) radar is considered to be best in class, AESA technology will see the Typhoon's radar capabilities developed even further. The planned AESA radar will offer a variety of benefits over M-Scan, including increased detection and tracking ranges, advanced air-to-surface capability and enhanced electronic protection measures.
The new radar will retain the key features of the existing Captor radar architecture in order to exploit the maturity of the current system and will use latest generation technology to provide a full complement of air-to-air and air-to-surface modes. The large array can be accommodated easily in the Typhoon’s radome and, being fitted on a repositioner, will provide an extremely wide field of regard. This will see Typhoon's combat effectiveness enhanced even further, allowing the Typhoon to outperform any other aircraft available on the market. The radar will offer customers the freedom to retrofit their existing Typhoons when required. The radar will have significant growth potential and both existing and new customers will be able to participate in tailoring the radar to meet their individual operational requirements.
Euroradar is a multi-national consortium lead by SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica Company, alongside EADS Defence Electronics and Indra. Euroradar has delivered over 250 Captor mechanically scanned radars into the Typhoon programme to date and this experience will ensure a timely and smooth transition to AESA.