Andrzej Jeziorski/STOCKHOLM

ERICSSON MICROWAVE Systems is seeking partners to develop a next-generation combat-aircraft radar. It has held talks with the GEC/Thomson/DASA Airborne Radar (GTDAR) consortium and US companies about a potential partnership.

The Swedish company is now studying an active electronically scanned-array radar (AESA), at the request of the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration. The antenna for the radar consists of over 1,000 transmitter/receiver (T/R) units, which operate together to form a radar beam which can be scanned electronically at high speeds, or focused instantaneously on a selected target.

According to the company, the AESA will offer improvements in target-detection range, tracking performance and jamming suppression, and more flexible active/passive radar usage.

Ericsson says that the radar could technically be developed within a decade, but progress will depend on funding.

Ericsson has developed a T/R module and is now constructing a test unit consisting of an antenna with a partly filled array of active modules. The company is also studying the feasibility of mounting such an antenna on a rotating platform, to increase the angle of the radar.

GTDAR is pursuing its own, similar programme, the active-array multi-role solid-state airborne radar, which is seen as a successor to the Eurofighter EF2000's ECR90 and the French Dassault Rafale's RBE2 radars, in future mid-life upgrades.

Active-array technology could also be incorporated in a future radar upgrade for the Saab JAS39 Gripen fighter.

Ericsson developed the current PS-05/A multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar for the Gripen, in partnership with UK company GEC-Marconi Avionics.

Source: Flight International