The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved a £2.35 billion ($2.83 billion) investment to develop the Eurofighter Typhoon ECRS Mk2 radar.
The Leonardo radar will replace the multirole aircraft’s Captor E-Scan radar beginning at the end of the decade.
The ECRS or European Common Radar System Mk2 radar will equip the fourth-generation fighter to counter emerging threats “until 2040 and beyond if required,” the ministry stated.
Typhoon upgrade will sustain 1300 UK Jobs.📢
Announced at #RIAT22, Typhoon will be equipped with the advanced ECRS MK2 radar and battle-winning technology in a £2.35B contract negotiated by DE&S. Typhoon will be better equipped to counter emerging threats until 2040 and beyond. pic.twitter.com/dBEKgSpsye
— Defence Equipment & Support (@DefenceES) July 15, 2022
Leonardo explained that the Mk2’s multi-functional array provides the “aircraft reprogrammable electronic warfare capability, including wideband electronic attack,” to detect and jam enemy radar.
The radar’s ability to blind enemy aircraft will allow the Typhoon to carry out aerial missions alongside the stealthy F-35s in contested airspace without the risk of detection due to the aircraft’s non-stealth design, Key.Aero wrote.
Moreover, the Mk2’s greater passive detection and longer range compared to other radars allow the aircraft to detect adversary aircraft while remaining beyond the range of enemy air defenses, the outlet added.
Radar Development to Help FCAS Program
The investment includes enhancing the Typhoon’s mission management and cockpit interface to exploit the radar’s “range of capabilities” and to accommodate an “updated navigation system and enemy radar jamming technology.”
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, said: “The ECRS Mk2 radar is a transformational upgrade for our Typhoon aircraft and a step change in capability. It will ensure the Typhoon is ready and able to protect our skies into the future, in the face of fast-evolving threats to the UK and our allies.”
The MoD stated that the work would sustain 1,300 jobs across the UK, and the skills and expertise generated during the project will be utilized in the Future Combat Air System program.