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BAE-Leonardo Team Secures $420M Contract to Build UK’s Combat Aircraft Radar System


BAE Systems and Leonardo have been awarded a $420.6M contract to develop the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA), the European Common Radar System Mark 2 (ECRS Mk2) radar for the Royal Air Force's (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoons, BAE said Thursday.

"This capability will allow Typhoon to take its place in the future battlespace for decades to come, maturing key technologies for future combat air systems and ensuring interoperability. As well as securing highly skilled jobs, it will sustain the key skills needed to keep the UK at the forefront of the global Combat Air sector,” said Andrea Thompson, managing director Europe & International for BAE Systems’ Air sector. 

Under the contract, BAE Systems and Leonardo will work to develop a standard radar to be integrated on to RAF Typhoons. The next generation of radar will support more than 600 highly skilled jobs and develop technologies for the UK’s Future Combat Air System.

The ECRS2 is a multi-functional array (MFA) that will enable UK Typhoons to integrate Electronic Warfare capability as well as support traditional radar functions. The companies’ support will equip RAF pilots with the ability to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defenses using high-powered jamming. 

RAF aircrafts will be equipped to  engage targets beyond the reach of threats and operate inside the range of opposing air defenses, fully protected. BAE Systems and Leonardo’s offerings will replace the mechanically-scanning radar that RAF Typhoons to deliver advanced air power. 

The NextGen radar will also enable the Typhoons to migrate systems with future data-driven weapons to combat rapidly evolving air defenses. The radar will be based on AESA technology and will provide new capabilities based on a MFA.

BAE Systems and Leonardo’s jointly developed radar will support greater Transmit-Receive Elements, which will enhance the RAF capabilities, while maintaining the same power and precision of traditional radars. The upgraded radar will enable the simultaneous operation of its wide-band Electronic Warfare functionality.

“This contract is great news for the UK, which will get the world’s most capable fighter radar, and great news for British engineering. Inventing, developing and building advanced technology here in the UK allows us to understand and meet the specific requirements of our Armed Forces and to secure export orders all around the world, boosting the whole UK economy,” said Mark Hamilton, SVP Electronic Warfare, Leonardo. 

BAE Systems will serve as the prime contractor for the Typhoon and will integrate the new sensor which will be developed by Leonardo.

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Written by Sarah Sybert

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