BAE Systems and Leonardo UK have installed an advanced AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar on a fourth-generation Eurofighter Typhoon fighter for the first time in preparation for the system’s maiden flight later this year.

In recent statements, the two companies have reported that the prototype of the European Common Radar System (ECRS), Mark 2 (Mk2), which has a multifunctional array (MFA) for search and tracking and electronic warfare functions, has been installed on BS116, a UK Typhoon test and evaluation aircraft, by engineers from BAE System and Leonardo UK at the former’s production facility in Warton, northern England.

The manufacturers added that the prototype was installed after months of ground testing “in a unique facility” at the center of Warton.

They said the radar will be “able to locate and deny an adversary’s radar with a powerful electronic jamming attack while staying out of range of threats.”

 

Ross Wilson, Vice President of Engineering, Radars and Advanced Targets at Leonardo UK, stated that, alongside the prototype radar integration work, “the production design of the ECRS Mk2 has also progressed apace.”

He added that the radar processor, receiver and antenna power supply and control units “have been redesigned to further improve the capability, capabilities and performance of the Mk2 system in line with the new antenna and capability.” of electronic warfare.”

The new production designs “have passed all of their critical design review phases, keeping the production schedule on schedule,” Wilson explained.

Andy Holden, Director of Airborne Radar Delivery at BAE Systems, stated that the company expects the first flight of the ECRS Mk2 on the Typhoon to occur “this year” and that the event “will allow us to validate the results of the ground tests.”.

In the program’s next steps, the radar will immediately undergo new integration work before the first flight.

The ECRS Mk 2 radar program is part of a wider £2.35bn ($2.97bn) Eurofighter upgrade announced by the UK in 2022. The system is expected to enter service with the UK’s frontline Typhoons—the Royal Air Force in 2030.

London plans to retire aging Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1s next year, as stated in the 2021 Defense Command Paper. At the time, the UK cited the need to get rid of aircraft with “limited utility in the environment.” digital and future operation” [PDF] as motivation to do without airplanes.

The RAF operates Tranche 1, 2 and 3 configurations of the aircraft.

The United Kingdom is one of four European countries that developed and produced this aircraft, along with Germany, Italy, and Spain.

Tim Martin