ROME — A new electronically scanned radar built by Italy's Leonardo-Finmeccanica has been selected for the US Navy's MQ-8C Fire Scout helicopter UAV, the service has announced.

Under a $5.8 million contract awarded May 26, the US Naval Air Systems Command will acquire the new Osprey radar, produced by Leonardo-Finmeccanica's Airborne and Space Systems Division.

The 360-degree airborne radar uses fixed panels distributed around the body of aircraft and has already been sold to the Norweigan Air Force for use on its AW101 search and rescue helicopters, as well as to two unnamed US customers.

Leonardo-Finmeccanica, which is successfully focusing on the market for small e-scan radars for UAVs and smaller aircraft, claims the Osprey does away with the need for bulky, rotating radars on the belly of aircraft.

Weighing 50 kilograms, the radar mounts antennas that weigh just over 11 kilograms each.

Tom Kington is the Italy correspondent for Defense News.

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