Northrop Grumman has improved the range and reduced the weight of its AN/ZPY-1 StarLite multimode surveillance radar, which the company is proposing as a sensor for the U.S. Army’s RQ-7B Shadow, the Navy’s future MQ-8C Fire Scout and other manned and unmanned aircraft.
Active Electronically Scanned Array
Dassault and Thales announced delivery of the first production Rafale to carry the Thales RBE2 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The companies noted that the aircraft, production number C137 for the French Air Force, is the first AESA-equipped European combat aircraft to enter service. The development was completed on time and budget, they added.
The third prototype of Russia’s new T-50 stealth fighter now has an AESA radar. Sukhoi reported this month that the program has logged more than 120 test flights, which suggests that only some 20 flights have been made in the past nine months. However, Russian air force commander Gen.
ITT Exelis for the first time exhibited its airborne sense-and-avoid (ABSAA) radar under development for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (Bams) unmanned aircraft system. The radar was displayed this week at the Unmanned Systems North America conference in Las Vegas. It is also being promoted for other UASs as a solution to flying in unrestricted airspace, branded as the SkySense 2020H radar system.
Competition in the F-16 upgrade market is heating up, with Boeing joining BAE Systems in challenging Lockheed Martin’s dominance as OEM. Boeing is touting the experience it gained recently in converting F-16s to unmanned drones for the U.S. Air Force. BAE Systems continues to emphasize its 270-aircraft upgrade for the U.S. National Guard, as a basis for securing international work.
Not many people in defense circles have heard of the Tecnam P2006T light twin, but two of these Italian-built aircraft were on display at Farnborough International to highlight the type’s suitability to perform a range of surveillance and maritime patrol duties at a low cost.
Saab and Selex Galileo revealed the Gripen NG’s new repositioning AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar for the first time in public here at the Farnborough International airshow. Selex Galileo delivered the preproduction ES-05 Raven radar to Saab on June 12. Five days later, in time for the show, it was fitted in the Gripen NG. A second identical radar, complete with repositioning system, is being retained at Selex Galileo’s Edinburgh facility for roof tests.
Raytheon has been awarded a contract to provide four podded dismount detection radar (DDR) systems to the U.S. Air Force. The SAR/GMTI (synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator) sensors are for carriage by General Atomics MQ-9 Block 5 Reaper UAVs, and the new radars will provide operators with the ability to find and track individuals and vehicles. The Block 5 is the forthcoming upgraded version of the Reaper.
In April, Lockheed Martin celebrated the delivery of its 4,500th F-16 Fighting Falcon, attesting to the longevity of the fourth generation, multirole fighter. Now the company is working to extend that legacy with the U.S. Air Force and to stretch the production of F-16 export versions.
With facilities in Italy and the UK, Selex Galileo lies at the heart of radar developments in Europe. Not only is the company heavily involved in two of Europe’s three new-generation fighter programs, but it is also making important strides in the field of surveillance radars for patrol aircraft, helicopters and UAVs. Active electronically scanned antenna (AESA), or e-scan, technology is at the center of this capability.