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.
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.
Selex Galileo has added new modes to the long-selling Grifo fire control radar and has also designed a pod-mounted version. Angelo Aprile, the company’s head of capability in Italy, told the Military Flight Training conference in London organized by Defence IQ that more than 450 “advanced but affordable” Grifo systems have been sold worldwide. Applications include the F-5E/F, Mirage III, L-159, F-7 (Chinese-built MiG-21bis) and Sikorsky HH-60 helicopter.
Leading Italian exhibitors at the Dubai show are demonstrating the company’s increasing capability in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles.
A cooperation between General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) and Selex Galileo will enable the integration and control of non-U.S. sensors on the Predator and Reaper UAV series. Selex Galileo has developed a “platform agnostic” open architecture named SkyIstar for unmanned aerial systems. The Anglo-Italian company will now integrate the SeaSpray 7500E radar on a Predator-B.
At last week’s Paris Air Show Selex Galileo displayed a larger version of its Falco unmanned air vehicle, fitted with longer wings for greater endurance and better payload capability. Designated Falco EVO, the new version has a wingspan of 12.5 meters (41 feet) compared with 7.2 meters (23.62 feet), allowing an increase in maximum takeoff weight to 650 kilograms (1,430 pounds), up from 450 kg (990 pounds).
Northrop Grumman, named to supply its large-aircraft, infrared-countermeasures (LAIRCM) system on the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker, recently demonstrated a podded version of the infrared-countermeasures system on the aircraft the tanker will replace, the KC-135.
Selex Galileo is the largest supplier of airborne electronic warfare (EW) equipment in Europe, and third only in the world behind BAE Systems North America and Northrop Grumman. This part of the Italian group’s business is in the hands of UK-based operation, which now boasts annual revenues of nearly £600 million ($980 million) and an order book of well over £1 billion ($1.64 billion).
Grifo 15, one of the four ATR 42MP aircraft operated by the Maritime Exploration Squadron of Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (GdF) customs police takes off from its home base at Pratica di Mare, east of Rome. As soon as the takeoff procedures are completed, the two crewmembers responsible for the radar and optronic sensors turn their seats toward the consoles and switch on the airborne tactical surveillance system (ATOS).
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.