In late March Saab announced a teaming agreement with Selex Galileo to develop the ES-05 Raven active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the Gripen Next Generation fighter program. Selex Galileo is also the lead in the Euroradar consortium developing the Captor radar for the Eurofighter, while Saab Microwave Systems (formerly Ericsson) builds the mechanically scanned PS-05/A radar currently installed in the Gripen.
Active Electronically Scanned Array
Thales is engineering a series of upgrades to the sensor systems aboard France’s Rafale that will be incorporated in the next batch of aircraft for the French armed forces and should enhance Dassault’s chances in current fighter procurements contests in Brazil, India and Switzerland.
Versions of the Global Hawk are proliferating, with five now in service or development for the U.S., as well as the Euro Hawk for Germany and another for the NATO-AGS (air/ground surveillance) requirement.
Boeing is making further improvements to the F/A-18E/F, and evaluating a more powerful version of the Super Hornet’s GE F414 powerplants. A new core and a new fan that could deliver 20 percent more thrust are under investigation by Boeing and General Electric. Boeing F/A-18 program manager Bob Gower said that no change to the aircraft’s inlets would be required to increase mass flow. The core has already run in a test cell.
CMC Electronics and Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems signed a 12-year agreement for the supply of more than 35,000 hybrid microcircuits for active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar systems in the F-18E/F and F-15E. The radar provides targeting and tracking capabilities in the airplanes, flown by the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Air National Guard.
Raytheon is launching here at Farnborough the latest member of its growing family of AESA (active electronically scanned antenna) radars. Known as the Raytheon advanced combat radar (RACR, “racer”), the new sensor is aimed at both the retrofit market, for aircraft such as the F-16, F/A-18 and others, or for installation in new-build fighters.
After completion of a ?90 million ($139 million) development program funded by five countries for nearly six years, Europe has developed significant new technology for air-to-ground surveillance. But the work may not be fully exploited, since the intended follow-on program has been cancelled.
Boeing’s F-15 Eagle has racked up an enviable 104-0 combat record, as one of the world’s top-flight air-superiority and air-to-ground assault fighters. Although the Eagle made its first flight 36 years ago, the latest U.S. Air Force plan says it won’t be leaving its inventory any time soon. Current considerations call for the F-15C/D to remain in service for another 17 years, and the F-15E for another 27.
The F-15 structural fatigue problem is much less serious than had been supposed. Only nine F-15C/D models need to have their longerons replaced, a Boeing official said in mid-February. These were apparently manufactured to reduced, incorrect tolerances. Only two weeks earlier, the U.S. Air Force was saying that 161 of the combat jets might need modification.
Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems Division revealed here yesterday the latest in its growing active electronically steered antenna (AESA) radar family. The Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) builds on the company’s expertise of developing AESA radars for the F-22, F-35 and F-16 Block 60.