Britain Gets AESA radar upgrade for its Typhoon

Britain Gets AESA radar upgrade for its Typhoon 4 September, 2020

Britain’s Royal Air Force is on course to get its own multi-functional Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, by the middle of the decade to equip Typhoon combat jets. A U.S. $420 million contract to develop the next generation of radar for Royal Air Force Typhoon jets has been awarded to BAE Systems and Leonardo. British Ministry of Defence and industry announced the deal on Sept 3rd.

BAE Systems and Leonardo have signed up to deliver what is known as the European Common Radar System (ECRS2) Mark 2 radar to equip the RAF’s Typhoon fleet with a multi-functional array providing advanced electronic-warfare and electronic-attack capabilities, as well as more traditional radar functions.

The deal includes the industry partners delivering the first Mk2-equipped Typhoons in 2022 for test and evaluation work, as well as three complete radars.

The initial operating capability of the upgraded RAF jets is planned for soon after 2025.

Leonardo already produces AESA radars for the Saab Gripen fighter, and the company’s systems are also being fitted to Typhoons for export customers Kuwait and Qatar.

The British plan to equip their 40-strong fleet of Typhoon Tranche 3 jets with the new radar but will decide at a later date whether to take up the option of fitting out the earlier Tranche 2 aircraft with the technology.

According to BAE Systems in a news release:

The ECRS2 is a multi-functional array (MFA) that will give UK Typhoons an Electronic Warfare capability, in addition to traditional radar functions, including wideband Electronic Attack.

It will equip RAF pilots with the ability to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming. They can engage targets whilst beyond the reach of threats – even when they’re looking in another direction – and operate inside the range of opposing air defences, remaining fully protected throughout. The firm also says that the radar enables the Typhoons to link up with “future data-driven weapons”.

BAE Systems, the UK’s prime contractor for the Typhoon, will integrate the new sensor which will be developed by Leonardo.

Britain Gets AESA radar upgrade for its Typhoon

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