The UK is to advance its plans to equip future production examples of the Eurofighter Typhoon with active electronically scanned array radars, under a new contract placed with Selex Galileo.

The AESA radar technology demonstration programme is worth £19 million ($29.6 million) and will culminate with flights using a Royal Air Force Typhoon in the UK, the company says.

"The contract includes development and build of a first of type, multifunction, wide field of regard AESA radar providing increased capability and performance when compared to conventional AESA fire control radar systems," it adds.

 RAF Typhoon - Eurofighter
© Eurofighter
An RAF Typhoon will be used during the technology demonstration effort

Selex says the objective of the programme is to prove the utility of an AESA radar in performing tasks such as air-to-air operations, all-weather targeting by day or night, providing high-resolution synthetic aperture radar images, and for new applications, such as communications.

The demonstration effort is expected to draw on the company's "swashplate repositioner" technology, which allows a normally fixed array to be moved laterally by +/-100°. This system is now being flight-tested using Saab's Gripen Demo airframe.

 Vixen 1000ES radar - Selex Galileo
© Selex Galileo
Selex has already flown an AESA sensor on Saab's Gripen Demo

Eurofighter partner nations Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK could consider making provisions for an AESA radar system as they finalise the specifications for their combined Tranche 3A order for 112 aircraft.

The new technology is also considered important as the industrial consortium behind the aircraft strives to secure new export sales, potentially to nations including India and Japan.

Source: Flight International