The Eurofighter Typhoon will be equipped with Captor E – a new generation of electronically scanned radar to be produced by a consortium of European electronics companies lead by Selex, Indra and Airbus Defense and Space. The new radar’s simultaneous multi-tasking ability means that the pilot is able to scan a wide area in front of the aircraft or on the ground, while identifying ground targets or tracking individual flying objects at the same time.
The contract covering the development of a new, electronically scanned radar , Captor-E to equip the Eurofighter Typhoon in service with four NATO air forces has been approved recently, during a meeting of the defence state secretaries of the Eurofighter nations (Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain).
Europe has been lagging behind the USA in the introduction of AESA radar technology; similar radars have already been deployed with US Air Force F-15s, US Navy F/A-18s, and F-16s in the UAE. A smaller AESA radar has also been developed for the Gripen E, and the French Rafale. According to Euroradar, the Captor E will be superior of contemporary AESA radars designed with fixed antennae. The new design enables an increased range in target acquisition and target tracking and, thanks to the rotating antenna, a considerably larger field of view, compared to other state-of-the-art combat aircraft.
In addition to the multi-tasking capability, the new Captor E-Scan radar will offer significant advantages over the mechanical M-Scan, including increased detection and tracking ranges, advanced air-to-surface capability and enhanced electronic protection measures.
Compared to the current radar, Captor E will have a larger antenna size allowing the use of greater number of TRMs (transmitter receiver modules) thus greater power and reception leading to earlier target detection and greater utility across the EW spectrum.
Another new feature is the repositioned antenna offering an extremely wide field of regard (WFoR). With this repositioned function it will maintain a 200 degree field of regard, significantly larger than typical ‘fixed plate’ AESA radars, giving Typhoon a significant tactical advantage in air combat and greater situational awareness.
The new radar will be designed with significant growth potential. The radar will fit both Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 aircraft offering customers the freedom to retrofit their existing Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft when required. Eurofighter and Euroradar officials stated that existing and new customers will be able to participate in tailoring the radar to meet their individual operational requirements.
The contract worth about 1 billion euro (£800 million) covers the development of the new, multi-tasking radar . The new radar is being developed by Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH and the Euroradar consortium comprising Selex ES (Great Britain, Italy), Indra (Spain) and Airbus Defence and Space (Germany). The consortium has already developed and produced more than 400 Captor radars for the Typhoons currently deployed with the partners’ air forces and abroad .