MANCHING, Germany --- With the successful first flight of an E-Scan radar on board a Eurofighter aircraft at EADS Defence & Security's (DS) Military Air Systems Flight Test Centre in Manching/Germany, new capabilities of next-generation radar as well as the feasibility of its insertion into the Eurofighter weapon system have been demonstrated.
Eurofighter Development Aircraft 5 made the first flight with the CAESAR (CAPTOR Active Electronically Scanning Array Radar) demonstrator system.
CAESAR is based on the CAPTOR radar developed by the EuroRadar consortium which is in service on Eurofighter production aircraft. The consortium comprises the European radar system companies EADS (Germany), SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems (UK), Galileo Avionica (Italy) and INDRA (Spain).
The new generation of radar introduces Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA) technology which replaces mechanically steered antennas and high-power transmitters with an electronically steered array on the basis of transmit/receive modules. This array is made up of more than 1,000 transmit/receive modules which give the radar unprecedented versatility and reliability. This enables new mission capabilities for combat aircraft such as simultaneous radar functionalities, air surveillance, air-to-ground and weapon control.
"The successful maiden flight on Eurofighter DA5 demonstrated that the existing CAPTOR radar could easily be upgraded to an AESA system, demonstrating extensive operational expandability and resistance to obsolescence of the system", explained Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of DS´s Defence Electronics unit. "EADS has developed all the capabilities needed to take a leading role in the design and manufacturing of AESA systems."
"Our vast expertise in the Eurofighter weapon system and the responsibility for its attack and identification system facilitated the integration and flight testing of the CAESAR demonstrator", said Johann Heitzmann, CEO of DS’s Military Air Systems unit. "Our Flight Test Centre again proved to be an invaluable asset for leading-edge flight evaluations."
The CAESAR demonstrator, which incorporates software modifications to take advantage of the E-Scan capability, was developed and financed by the EuroRadar consortium in only four years. Following system integration, the radar system was tested within the British/German CECAR programme in spring 2006 aboard a BAC1-11 aircraft.
Under a demonstration programme funded by the German Ministry of Defence, CAESAR was integrated on the Eurofighter Development Aircraft by Military Air Systems in less than a year's time from initial contract award – including avionics ground rig testing, extensive analysis and clearance work. These efforts also involved Eurofighter Partner Companies and German National Airworthiness Authorities.
EuroRadar plans to continue the development of CAESAR to series production level in order to have an E-Scan system for introduction on Eurofighter. The functionalities enabled by the incorporation of AESA technology will ensure that Eurofighter Typhoon Operational Capability will remain ahead of competing fighter aircraft of its class.
Defence Electronics (DE) is the centre of competence for radar technology within EADS Defence & Security. It is participating in all major AESA programmes such as the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance radar TCAR and the MEADS air defence radar. Among others, it also delivers radars to the German K130 corvette and the "Deepwater" US Coast Guard vessels.
Military Air Systems (MAS) is the centre of competence for all manned and unmanned flying weapon systems within EADS Defence & Security and a major partner within the Eurofighter consortium.
DE and MAS are both integrated Business Units of the EADS Defence & Security Division (DS). DS is a systems solutions provider combining military air systems, missile systems, communications and intelligence systems, global security solutions, sensor and avionics systems, as well as test and support solutions into a single effective network. In 2006, DS – with its around 23,000 employees – achieved revenues of EUR 5.9 billion.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2006, EADS generated revenues of EUR 39.4 billion and employs a workforce of about 116,000.