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ILA 2008: AESA radar solution now for Typhoons

Mechanically scanned and AESA solutions are now being offered for Tranche 3 Typhoons, Euroradar said at the show yesterday.

These include an innovative design with a physical gimbal (improving azimuth and elevation coverage) to meet RAF requirements for a wider field of regard.
Euroradar has already demonstrated an AESA version of Captor in the so-called CAESAR programme.

Although some customers specify an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar in their next generation fighters, Eurofighter says it has so far found that the performance of the Typhoon’s mechanically scanned Captor (Captor-M) exceeds that of first generation AESA radars, and this has convinced the doubters.

“The only AESA radar that will come anywhere close to holding its own against Captor is the APG-63(V)-5 being developed for USAF F-15s” according to one Selex source.

Euroradar’s Michael Bischoff said that Captor-M is “the best mechanically scanned radar in the world – much better than the competition” and that it has some unique capabilities that no other mechanically scanned radars have. These include an ability to ‘priority track’ interrupting the normal scan pattern to concentrate on a particular area of interest. “Captor is the only mechanically scanned radar that does this.” Bischoff said.

Though electronically scanned radars offer faster scan rates, with search and track times up to one third quicker than those of mechanically scanned radars, the Captor-M enjoys significant advantages in range and azimuth coverage, and especially in range at the edges of the scan, where energy losses inherent in phase shifting can dramatically reduce the range performance of an AESA radar.

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