BAE Systems Receives Future Typhoon Radar Prototype

Leonardo has delivered the first European Common Radar System (ECRS Mk2) prototype to BAE Systems in support of the British Eurofighter Typhoon fleet.

The handover is part of an effort to replace the aircraft’s existing Captor E-Scan radar with a next-generation aerial combat scanner by 2040.

The $2.83 billion contract for the upgrade was awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence in July 2022.

The ECRS Mk2

The ECRS Mk2 has a multi-function array to support simultaneous functions, including electronic warfare tasks, search, and targeting.

This feature enables the Typhoon to stop electronic jamming while maintaining a position far from the reach of adversaries.

“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,” Leonardo Radar & Advanced Targeting SVP Mark Stead said.

Supporting ‘Future Combat Air Ambitions’

Leonardo is currently developing the ECRS Mk2 in Edinburgh. The company is conducting related electronic warfare research and production in Luton.

After the delivery, integration and a ground-based demonstration will be performed to prepare for the radar’s first flight aboard the Typhoon in 2024.

The preliminaries will be held at BAE Systems’ flight testing site in Lancashire.

A Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft and European Common Radar System Mk2 (ECRS Mk2)
A Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft and European Common Radar System Mk2 (ECRS Mk2). Photo: Leonardo

“The ECRS Mk2 radar is one of a number of key capabilities which we are integrating to secure Typhoons as the backbone of air defence across the globe for decades to come,” BAE Systems Typhoon Program Director Richard Hamilton stated.

“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.”

Leonardo and BAE in British Military Aircraft Programs

The British Typhoon program supports 20,000 jobs in the UK. For the ECRS Mk2 development, more than 600 roles have been secured, including over 300 in Edinburgh, 120 in Lancashire, and 100 in Luton.

The new radar integration will support more comprehensive Typhoon enhancement projects and is expected to sustain up to 1,300 jobs in the country.

Alongside the Eurofighter initiative, Leonardo and BAE Systems are core industry partners for the Global Combat Air Program, a joint partnership between the UK, Italy, and Japan to develop a sixth-generation fighter jet.

Technology and skills developed with the ECRS Mk2 radar will be leveraged to accelerate both programs.

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