Raven radar

Saab has awarded a multi-million Euro contract to Selex for the supply of the Raven ES-05 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK.

The fire-control radar will be installed onboard Saab’s Gripen Next Generation (NG) aircraft.

Currently under development for Sweden, the Nato-interoperable, multi-role fighter has also been down-selected and is in final negotiations for the Brazilian Air Force’s FX-2 contract.

Designed in collaboration with Saab, the Raven ES-05 features a roll-repositionable AESA antenna to provide a full ±100º field of regard. It offers maximum situational awareness and enables the aircraft to turn away after missile launch, while maintaining datalinks to the missile, Selex said.

An agreement for developing Raven ES was signed by the two companies in 2009. A production-standard radar is currently installed on Gripen demonstration aircraft.

In addition to Raven ES, Selex is also delivering the Skyward-G infrared search & track (IRST) passive sensor and identification friend-or-foe (IFF) system for use on the swing-role aircraft.

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"The Raven ES-05 enables the aircraft to turn away after missile launch, while maintaining datalinks to the missile."

The two systems were selected in 2010 and the Skyward G IRST has been undergoing flight testing since March.

The IFF system is scheduled to be handed over to Saab later this year. A formal contract for the two systems is expected to be signed in the next few months.

Saab has recently selected Selex’s new BriteCloud expendable active decoy (EAD) as an electronic warfare option for the Gripen NG and all other versions of the aircraft.

The live BriteCloud trials on-board Gripen NG fighter are expected to be carried out by the end of this year.

Selex and parent company, Finmeccanica, are expecting to supply up to 200 sets of sensor equipment over the next ten to 15 years, considering the upgrade opportunities on the Gripen C/D aircraft and new Gripen NG purchases.

Saab’s selection of AESA comes just a few days after the UK selected BAE Systems to de-risk E-Scan AESA radar development for integration into the Typhoon combat aircraft fleet.

Image: Raven ES-05 radar enhances situational awareness of Saab’s Gripen Next Generation aircraft. Photo: © 2013 Selex ES S.p.A.

Defence Technology