Leonardo delivers first MFA ECRS Mk2 radar for UK Typhoon integration
The ECRS Mk2 features a multi-functional array (MFA) that can perform both traditional radar functions such as search and targeting, as well as additional electronic warfare tasks. It is designed that the Eurofighter Typhoon will be able to locate and deny use of an adversary’s radar with electronic jamming while staying beyond the reach of threats.
Pictured above is a Typhoon at the Electronic Warfare Test Facility at BAE Systems in Warton, Lancashire, in support of the radar development programme.
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.
“The ECRS Mk2 will equip RAF pilots with the ability to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defences, a powerful combination of capabilities that will increase the Eurofighter Typhoon’s lethality and survivability, and the survivability of other friendly forces,” said Mark Stead, SVP Radar & Advanced Targeting, Leonardo UK.
The delivery is seen as a milestone for bringing one of the world’s most capable combat air radars into Royal Air Force service by the end of the decade.
“Together with enhanced mission systems, advanced sensors, weapons and displays, we are delivering a sovereign capability which will keep RAF pilots safe and ensure the UK has the skills to continue to mature key technologies which support its future combat air ambitions,” said Richard Hamilton, Typhoon Programme Director, Europe – BAE Systems Air.
In terms of Leonardo, the company is developing the ECRS Mk2 in Edinburgh, which it describes as “the UK’s home of combat air radar”, and also Luton, where the company conducts electronic warfare research, development and production.
It reports that the overall Typhoon programme supports 20,000 highly-skilled jobs across the UK. Specifically, the work developing the ECRS Mk2 is securing 600 roles including 300 at Leonardo’s site in Edinburgh, 100 in Luton and 120 at BAE Systems in Lancashire.
In addition to their partnership for the ECRS Mk2, Leonardo UK and BAE Systems are also members of the UK’s team to deliver the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), a partnership between the UK, Italy and Japan.
This aims to bring a sixth generation combat aircraft into service in 2035. According to BAE:
“The firms’ involvement in both programmes will create opportunities to develop technology and skills from the ECRS Mk2 into the GCAP platform’s suite of advanced electronics, and vice versa, de-risking and accelerating both programmes.”
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