The UK Ministry of Defence on Friday announced a £2.35 billion investment in a package of new capabilities which will be equipped on Royal Air Force Typhoon aircraft.
The announcement was made by Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin MP, at a briefing at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in RAF Fairford today.
It includes the delivery of the European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk 2 radar, which will allow the aircraft to simultaneously detect, identify and track multiple targets in the air and on the ground.
The work also ensures the aircraft can integrate additional capabilities and weapons later in the decade to counter emerging threats until 2040 and beyond.
This sees Typhoon enhanced with the latest mission computer and cockpit interface, as well as an improved navigation system and signal jamming technology.
The Eurofighter program expects to fly the new ECRS Mk2 radar aboard a Eurofighter test aircraft during the final quarter of 2023, leading to an initial operating capability (IOC) by 2030. Incorporating enhanced electronic attack capabilities, the new AESA radar has no hardware commonality with the original Typhoon Captor radar forward of the power supply, nor with the other AESA-equipped Captor-E variants (ECRS Mk0 for Kuwait and Qatar, ECRS Mk1 for Germany and Spain). It will, however, feature a common human-machine interface.
The new ECRS Mk2 uses a repositioner that employs a single rotating joint (similar to ES-05 Raven radar used in the Saab Gripen E/F) rather than the double swashplate arrangement of the Captor-E. The use of a repositioner gives a much greater field of regard than possible with a conventional fixed AESA, and does so without losing performance at higher azimuth angles. This feature results in massive operational advantages, allowing pilots to turn away harder from their targets in a “classical” BVR engagement, and making them much less vulnerable to any return missile shot.