Aerial Warfare

New Eurofighter Typhoon ECRS Mark 2 Radar Embodied for First Flight

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New Eurofighter Typhoon ECRS Mark 2 Radar Embodied for First Flight

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European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mark 2 radar
European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mark 2 radar

The next generation radar which will be used by RAF Typhoon pilots of the future has been fitted to an aircraft ahead of flight trials. The European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mark 2 radar is being developed by Leonardo UK and integrated onto Eurofighter Typhoon by BAE Systems. It features an innovative multi-functional array (MFA) that can perform both traditional radar functions such as search and targeting, as well as electronic warfare tasks. This means that Eurofighter Typhoon will be able to locate and deny use of an adversary’s radar with a powerful electronic jamming attack, whilst staying beyond the reach of threats. A prototype of the radar has been undergoing ground-based testing in a unique test facility at BAE Systems’ site in Warton, Lancashire in recent months before being fitted on to BS116, a UK test and evaluation aircraft, by our engineers together with our partner, Leonardo UK. The radar will now undergo further integration work inside our Typhoon final assembly hangar at Warton with plans to flight test it this year.

Ross Wilson, VP Engineering, Radar and Advanced Targeting, Leonardo UK, said:“In parallel with the integration work on the Prototype system as it approaches flight testing, the ECRS Mk2 production design has also been progressing apace. The radar’s Processor, Receiver, and Antenna Power Supply & Control units have all been re-engineered to further enhance the capacity, capability, and performance of the Mk2 system in alignment with the new antenna and electronic warfare capability.These production designs have all passed their critical design review phases, keeping the production programme on schedule.”

511 Tactical

Andy Holden, Radar Delivery Director, BAE Systems’ Air sector, said: “Equipping the aircraft with this prototype radar moves us a step closer to delivering new capability which ensures Typhoon’s role as the backbone of combat air defence for decades to come. We expect that this year we will be flight testing the radar which will allow us to validate the results of ground-based testing we have undertaken at our Integrated Test Facility (ITF), the only facility of its kind on the UK. The ITF testing allowed us to ‘fly’ the radar for hundreds of hours without the need to put a jet in the air, ensuring our flight test programme is as efficient as possible and delivers what our customer needs.”

European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mark 2 radar integrated onto first Eurofighter Typhoon
The European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mark 2 radar integrated onto first Eurofighter Typhoon. (Photo by BAE Systems)

Leonardo has delivered a prototype ECRS Mk2 (European Common Radar System Mk2) to BAE Systems, marking the latest milestone in the ongoing development programme for the UK Typhoon fleet. The radar will now undergo integration work and ground-based testing in preparation for its first flight tests on-board the Eurofighter Typhoon next year. This will take place at BAE Systems’ flight-testing facility in Lancashire, United Kingdom. Leonardo is developing the ECRS Mk2 in Edinburgh, the UK’s home of combat air radar, and Luton, where the company conducts advanced electronic warfare research, development and production. The ECRS Mk2 features an innovative multi-functional array (MFA) that can perform both traditional radar functions such as search and targeting, as well as electronic warfare tasks. This means that Eurofighter Typhoon will be able to locate and deny use of an adversary’s radar with a powerful electronic jamming attack, whilst staying beyond the reach of threats.

The milestone is the latest step towards bringing the world’s most capable combat air radar into Royal Air Force service by the end of the decade. The overall Typhoon programme supports more than 20,000 highly skilled jobs across the UK. The work developing the ECRS Mk2 is securing 600 roles including more than 300 at Leonardo’s site in Edinburgh, 100 in Luton and 120 at BAE Systems in Lancashire. With the new radar and a wider package of enhancements for Typhoon being funded by the UK MOD, the combined programme is expected to sustain up to 1,300 jobs in the UK. With a view to potential future adoption of the ECRS Mk2, Leonardo in Italy is also contributing to the development, with engineers from Leonardo’s Nerviano, Milan-based radar site having joined the team in Edinburgh. As a step towards Italy’s full participation in the ECRS Mk2 programme, this collaboration will enable acquiring system design capabilities that will ensure that the Italian MOD has sovereign control over the new radar system at every stage of its operational life.

European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mark 2 radar integrated onto first Eurofighter Typhoon
The European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mark 2 radar integrated onto first Eurofighter Typhoon. (Photo by BAE Systems)

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