AESA Radar Could be on Typhoon by End of 2013
Eurofighter expects to have an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar flying on a Typhoon multi-role fighter by the end of 2013, consortium executives said at the Farnborough International Airshow.
Senior Eurofighter executives confirmed that they received a request for proposals last week from the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, which is the agency for the four nations behind the development of Typhoon.
Proposals have also been made to the customer nations for the integration by 2015 of the MBDA-developed Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile.
The first firing of a Meteor from a Typhoon has been authorized by partner nations Britain, France, Germany and Italy for the final quarter of this year.
Austria and Saudi Arabia are the only export customers, with Oman possibly joining the list by the end of the year.
Eurofighter boss Enzo Casolini said discussions are ongoing as to whether export customer Saudi Arabia might be part of the funding arrangements for the AESA development.
The Eurofighter executives said they expect to respond to the request for radar proposals later this year and be under contract to complete development of the system by mid-2013.
For the moment none of the four nations has publicly committed to a timetable to buy the AESA radar to replace the mechanically scanned Captor sensor on the Typhoon.
The Eurofighter officials said the partner nations have “more or less harmonized their requirements.”
The radar design will use a modular approach to meet all the national requirements, the Eurofighter executives said.
The Selex Galileo-led Euroradar consortium responsible for Typhoon radar supply has been working on the AESA radar design for several years using industry funding in what it calls a pre-financing arrangement with the partner nations.
The original target of having a radar ready for market by 2015 is being maintained. The date was paced by the competition for an Indian order for a multi-role fighter that was secured earlier this year by Dassault Aviation, which offered its Rafale fighter.
That deal remains to be signed, leaving Eurofighter with the hope that Typhoon might get invited back in if the French fail to seal the deal.