The Eurofighter Typhoon arrived at Farnborough showcasing the latest generation active electronically scanned array (AESA) Captor-E radar. A prototype AESA radar developed to meet British Royal Air Force requirements is to be flight-trialed on a the Typhoon as part of a UK deal awarded to BAE Systems. (Eurofighter)
FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND — A prototype active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar developed to meet specific British Royal Air Force requirements is to be flight-trialed on a Eurofighter Typhoon jet as part of a £72 million (US $123 million) deal awarded to BAE Systems by the Ministry of Defence here.
The three-year contract, called the E-Scan Extended Assessment Phase, is being undertaken by the British separately from a parallel development program called Radar 1+ that the four Typhoon partner nations of Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain committed to on July 15.
The deal with the British involves a number of work packages including a Typhoon flight test of a prototype radar as well as ground testing at BAE’s electronic warfare test facility at Warton in northwest England.
Nigel Whitehead, BAE’s group managing director, said the British contract represented a significant step in the UK’s commitment to a wider AESA program.
“Having the ability to demonstrate the full potential of an E-Scan radar on the aircraft will also assist us in showcasing the full capability of the Typhoon to potential [export] customers,” Whitehead said.
Radar producer Selex ES was originally awarded a £19 million contract by the MoD in 2009 to begin work maturing AESA technology levels to meet specific Royal Air Force requirements.
The AESA commitment by the four nations is for the delivery of the base line Radar 1+. Individually, though, nations can build on that for their own requirements, officials said yesterday when Eurofighter took the wraps off of a production-standard Typhoon fitted with a development version of Radar1+.
Flight trials of the Selex-led Euroradar Radar 1+ are due to get underway after the air show.
Eurofighter officials said the radar could be in operational service on the Typhoon within three years.
A production contract for the sensor is expected by the end of October although the signing is still subject to German parliamentary approval. ■