Europe’s Typhoon fighter will be available with an operational active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar from 2015, the Eurofighter consortium has announced.

“After one year of industry funding, the Eurofighter and Euroradar consortia have received renewed strong support from the partner nations and have agreed to continue the full scale development programme,” it announced at the Paris air show. Dubbed Captor-E, the developmental sensor will meet an entry into service target of 2015, it added.

The AESA development will introduce “increased detection and tracking ranges, advanced air-to-surface capability and enhanced electronic protection measures,” Eurofighter said. The active array will be integrated with the back-end of the Typhoon’s current mechanically-scanned Captor-M via a repositionable “swashplate”.

 Eurofighter Typhoon
© Eurofighter

In addition to potentially entering use with Eurofighters flown by Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, the Captor-E could be a key element in the nations’ export campaigns to sell the Typhoon to additional operators. The type is currently in a two-way battle with the Dassault Rafale for India’s at-least 126-unit medium multi-role combat aircraft contract.

“The new radar will offer customers the freedom to retrofit their existing Typhoons when required,” Eurofighter said. “Significant growth potential” will also allow operators to tailor the sensor to “meet their individual operational requirements”, it said.

Full-scale development activities were launched in July 2010 by the Euroradar consortium, which is led by Selex Galileo.