Gripen Flies to Farnborough Equipped With AESA Radar
After three years of development work, Saab has flown a Gripen NG aircraft to the Farnborough International Airshow equipped with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar built by Selex Galileo.
The Raven ES-05 radar was delivered to Saab at its Linkoping facility in Sweden on June 12, installed in five days and will return to a flight testing campaign after Farnborough that should last into 2013.
Saab has previously mounted a prototype of the radar for test flights, while Selex retains a copy of the Raven radar at its Edinburgh facility.
Following flight testing, Saab expects to equip between 60 and 80 Gripen NGs with the radar, in addition to 22 aircraft it aims to sell to Switzerland, said Eddy de la Motte, vice president for Gripen exports. An eventual number of Raven radars to order could be “more than 150,” he said.
Boasting around 1,000 T/R modules, the Raven is based on a swivelling plate that sits at 30 degrees from upright, meaning that as it turns, the radar turns toward any chosen direction. Given that the radar’s field is 70 degrees, the overall field of regard is +/- 100 degrees.
Investment costs for the radar have been shouldered by Saab and Selex, while the radar’s integration with the aircraft’s systems and armaments will be funded by the Swedish government, De la Motte said.
Existing Gripen customers Thailand, South Africa, Hungary and the Czech Republic will be able to upgrade their aircraft through installation of the AESA radar, said Richard Smith, regional marketing director for Europe.
“The AESA radar is also important for the Brazilian competition,” he said.
Selex Galileo is also supplying its SKYWARD-G Infrared Search and Track to the Gripen.