Eurofighter Nations Inch Closer to New Radar Commitment

AIN Defense Perspective » June 13, 2011
A Captor-E electronically scanned array radar prototype is slated to fly on a...
A Captor-E electronically scanned array radar prototype is slated to fly on a Eurofighter Typhoon in 2013. (Photo: David McIntosh)
June 13, 2011, 7:30 AM

Development of an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the Eurofighter Typhoon is continuing, although the four European partner nations still have not collectively committed funds. However, at the Paris Air Show later this month they plan to sign a letter of intent (LoI) with Eurofighter that confirms their intention to eventually adopt and pay for the new technology.

In the meantime, the industry will continue to “pre-finance” development of the Captor-E AESA radar, scheduled for delivery from 2015. The UK Ministry of Defence is providing a $30 million grant for technology demonstration to Selex Galileo, which is also receiving a smaller amount from Italy.

If the Typhoon is to succeed in export competitions, notably in India and Japan, an AESA radar is deemed essential. But for the time being, the cash-strapped partner nations are perfectly happy with the performance of the fighter’s existing mechanically scanned Captor radar.

Nevertheless, Selex Galileo is bullish about the performance and reliability advantages of the Captor-E, especially its unique repositioner. This moving swashplate extends the radar’s field of regard by 50 percent, to plus or minus 100 degrees. The new design was unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show last July.

The UK MoD funding will lead to the first flight of a Captor-E prototype in 2013. But it will feature only limited radar modes, and the array will consist of Gallium Arsenide (Ga) transmit-receive modules that were developed by British company Filtronic, now part of Teledyne. The ultimate array planned for Captor-E will use more advanced Gallium Nitride modules developed for the Euroradar consortium by EADS Cassidian.

Meanwhile, Selex Galileo is separately developing the Raven ES-05 AESA radar (previously named Vixen 1000E) for the Gripen NG (New Generation) fighter. It also has the repositioner and the Ga modules, the latter being “ITAR-free and low-cost,” according to the company.

Selex Galileo has already sold a smaller version of the Vixen AESA radar series to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, for its Cessna Citation 550 fleet.

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halloweene
on January 2, 2012 - 2:36pm

I know that EU led a big research program and that now 5 plants in Europe are now able to build those. However, i hadn't yet see any report of practical application to those (altho quite obvious). Any source plz? Thx

DrSomnath999's picture
DrSomnath999
on September 23, 2014 - 1:20pm

The fact is Typhoon consortium group has nt revealed anything officially about GaN T/R modules altogether .
France & Sweeden have officially announced their plans about
GaN in the form of their electronic warfare suite basically .

France have plans for GaN T/R modules in their RBE 2 aesa radar only in MLU that is for post 2025 .Same can also be said for Sweeden but they have nt confirmed that part also.

Typhoon consortium group captor E aesa radar would have GaAS T/R modules
eventually .But Britain Bright adder program which is known to have more Electronic attack capabilty have not been revealed yet as what would be it's
T/R module whether GaAS or GaN .Plus we have to wait for MLU of typhoon in
post 2025 scenario program also

Until then it is just media speculations nothing else with no evidences or proper backing

CHEERS

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