British multinational defense, security and aerospace company BAE Systems and Italian defense group Leonardo have been awarded a contract to develop next generation radar for the Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet.
The contract is valued at more than £317 million ($421 million) and provides develop the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) European Common Radar System Mark 2 (ECRS Mk2) to a standard ready to be integrated on to RAF Typhoons.
The ECRS Mk2 is a multi-functional array (MFA) that will give UK Typhoons a world-leading Electronic Warfare capability, in addition to traditional radar functions, including wide band Electronic Attack.
It will equip RAF pilots with the ability to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defenses 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 defenses, remaining fully protected throughout.
This game-changing capability will replace the mechanically-scanning radar that RAF Typhoons are currently equipped with and will ensure the UK retains the freedom to deliver air power wherever and whenever it is needed. It also enables Typhoon to link up with future data-driven weapons to combat rapidly evolving air defenses, ensuring that UK Typhoons can continue to dominate the battlespace for years to come.
“This capability will allow Typhoon to take its place in the future battlespace for decades to come, maturing key technologies for future combat air systems and ensuring interoperability,” said Managing Director Europe & International for BAE Systems’ Air sector Andrea Thompson. “As well as securing highly-skilled jobs, it will sustain the key skills needed to keep the UK at the forefront of the global Combat Air sector. We look forward to continuing to work alongside the Eurofighter nations and our industry partners to ensure Typhoon delivers the needs of today and answers the challenges of tomorrow.”
The new radar will be based on Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology and will provide game-changing capabilities based on a revolutionary MFA.
It has significantly more Transmit-Receive Elements than other radars, making Mk 2 the most capable fighter AESA radar in the world, maintaining the same power and precision of traditional radars but also enabling the simultaneous operation of its wide-band Electronic Warfare functionality.
At the same time, European aerospace giant Airbus announced that German and Spanish Eurofighter fighter jet will be equipped with the world’s most capable fighter jet radar.