New capabilities and improved protection of pilots
The Eurofighter will be equipped with a new generation of radar which will enhance the aircraft’s capabilities and substantially improve the pilots’ ability to survive. During a meeting of the defence state secretaries of the Eurofighter nations (Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain) held in Edinburgh, representatives of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH and NETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency) signed a 1 billion euro contract to develop a new, electronically scanned radar, the so-called “Captor-E”.
Airbus Defence and Space is playing a major role in the development and integration of the radar, via its Military Aircraft and Electronics business lines. “Together with our partners in the Euroradar consortium we are developing the world’s most powerful fighter radar,” said Thomas Müller, head of the Electronics business line at Airbus Defence and Space. “This order will ensure ongoing development of radar technology, which is a core military capability in Germany.”
Berndt Wünsche, head of Combat Aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space, stated in Edinburgh: “This decision ensures that the Eurofighter will continue to be the best combat aircraft available in the world. The Captor-E radar will open up completely new options for deployment and will substantially improve the Eurofighter’s export opportunities.”
The main advantage of the Captor-E is its ability to perform several tasks practically simultaneously. This means that the pilot is able to scan a wide area in front of the aircraft or on the ground, while identifying ground targets or tracking individual flying objects at the same time. The new technology enables an increased range in target acquisition and target tracking and, thanks to the rotating antenna, a considerably larger field of view, compared to other state-of-the-art combat aircraft.
The new radar is being developed by Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH and the Euroradar consortium comprising Selex ES (Great Britain, Italy), Indra (Spain) and Airbus Defence and Space (Germany). The consortium has already developed and produced more than 400 Captor radars.
Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defence enterprises. It employs some 40,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €14 billion per year.