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Captor E-Scan radar

Eurofighter has signed a €1bn contract with the Nato Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) to develop the Captor E-Scan radar for the Typhoon multi-role fighter, during a ceremony in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Signed on behalf of the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy, the contract will see the integration of the Captor E-Scan on-board the aircraft to help further improve Typhoon’s combat effectiveness.

Eurofighter CEO Alberto Gutierrez said: "The signing of this contract is a massive boost to all of us and is a pivotal moment.

"It enhances a weapons system that offers a mix of capabilities that is simply unmatched anywhere in the world."

"The contract also represents another significant investment in the defence industry in Scotland, sustaining around 500 jobs at Selex ES in Edinburgh."

NETMA general manager air vice-marshal Graham Farnell said: "This new capability will ensure the fighter remains a vital component in the mix."

UK Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Minister Philip Dunne said: "The development of this AESA [active electronically scanned array] radar is a significant step in delivering technology that will ensure the Royal Air Force is equipped to meet the evolving demands of operations.

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"The contract also represents another significant investment in the defence industry in Scotland, sustaining around 500 jobs at Selex ES in Edinburgh."

Eurofighter, along with its primary supplier, Euroradar, and a range of other suppliers across Europe, will develop theCaptor E-Scan, which is said to be the world’s most advanced AESA radar system.

Designed to retrofit to both Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 Typhoons, the radar is expected to add new mission capabilities, such as simultaneous radar functionalities, air surveillance and air-to-ground and weapon control to the aircraft.

The radar has a 200° field of regard, and combines the key features of the existing Captor radar architecture with the latest generation of technology to concurrently execute a full complement of air-to-air and air-to-surface missions.

The Captor E-Scan radar is equipped with a very large sized antenna and repositioner, which enables a greater number of transmitter receiver modules, hence providing greater power and reception, leading to earlier target detection and greater utility across the electronic warfare spectrum.

A twin-engine multirole fighter, with a canard-delta wing, Typhoon is designed to undertake air policing, peace support and high-intensity conflict missions worldwide.

Image: Captor E-Scan radar in nose of a Eurofighter Typhoon. Photo: courtesy of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH.

Defence Technology