One of the key future enhancements for the Eurofighter combat aircraft has moved a step closer to becoming reality, after BAE Systems performed a trial installation of an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar with a test example of the aircraft.
"Working in partnership with the Euroradar consortium, test aircraft IPA5 is undergoing a modification and upgrade programme in order to support the E-scan development programme," says BAE, which has released a first image of the combination in work at its Warton site in Lancashire.
Describing the trial installation as "a major milestone", BAE says: "The first flight of the modified aircraft is expected to take place at the end of the year."
Tranche 3A production examples of the Eurofighter are being manufactured with the wiring and structural modifications required to accommodate the AESA radar, which has previously been designated as the Captor-E. Although no full integration and production contract has yet been signed, the sensor is also already being offered to potential future export customers for the Typhoon.