Airbus has been awarded a contract for the development, supply and integration of 115 Eurofighter ESCAN Radars for the German and Spanish Eurofighter fleet.

It marks the largest order so far for what Airbus call “the world’s most modern electronically scanned array radar”, Captor-E. The contract signature followed the approval by both governments in recent weeks.

The contract foresees the delivery and integration of 110 Captor-E radars for Germany and an initial batch of 5 radars for Spain to be delivered by 2023.

“The new sensor will equip Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 Eurofighters as well as new aircraft. Whereas the Airbus sites in Manching, Germany and Getafe, Spain will act as overall integration Hub, the development and building of the radar will be subcontracted to a consortium under the leadership of Hensoldt and Indra and by participation of further Eurofighter partner companies.”

Eurofighter Radar Captor-E

“The contract for the Captor-E radar is a main achievement to equip Eurofighter with sensors that ensure todays dominance of the aircraft also in the threat scenarios of tomorrow”, said Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space.

“With Eurofighter, Germany and Spain are investing in a strong backbone of European air defence and in the leading project of the European defence industry.”

According to Airbus:

“Eurofighter Captor-E is the world’s most advanced electronically scanned array radar for fighter aircraft. The design of the front fuselage airframe allows Eurofighter to deliver the largest electronically scanned array for increased detection and tracking ranges, advanced Air-to-Surface capability and enhanced electronic protection measures. The large antenna surface also allows a wider field of regard than any other platform pushing the aircraft’s performance and guaranteeing its role as a valuable asset within the Future Combat Aircraft System environment.”

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Shame the UK isn’t going to buy this upgrade, especially as we are only ever likely to have a small number of F-35’s in-service at a time and the Typhoon will likely be our main home Air Defence fighter for decades to come…


I’m sure I read something about us skipping the initial e scan radar and going straight to the e scan 2 at a slightly later date, which is already in development.


Let’s hope your right, in doing so it might save us some money.


Why not just wait till the E-scan 3 then? haha


We’re going to wait several years and then only in the 40 Tranche 3 not the 67 Tranche 2. I’d put the version 1+ the Germans are buying in our Tranche 2 and wait for the version 2 in our Tranche 3.


Just typical UK government dithering and delaying. The fact is E scan 1 has been delayed so much it is completely out of date compared to F35 radar which is why the UK no longer want it and upped their requirement to include electronic attack.
This radar should have been delivered as part of Tranche 3 years ago instead of a separate upgrade. Now it makes sense to put the money into E-scan 2 which so we can update tranche 3 and include on tempest from day 1.


The CAPTOR-E radar upgrade is programmed in to the RAF Typhoon’s update program. The version we will be getting “should be” better still. This version Germany and Spain are getting is Mod 1, the same that Kuwait are getting. We will be getting Radar Mod 2+, but why the delay? You can blame the F35 for that. The RAF have clearly seen the capabilities of the APG81 and want something that is at least on par with it for Typhoon. The 2+ is expected to deliver the same capabilities, whether that includes the ECM and EW attack nobody is saying!… Read more »


Hi Daveb, I thought it was programmed in but when I checked this morning all I could find reported was that the RAF was not going with the programme, despite the UK participating in the development of Captor-E . It had an all too believeable ring to it. I have had another look around and found a vague reference to RADAR 2 with no details. Do you have any idea when it is due into service? The same article that mentioned RADAR 2 also indicated that work is currently focused on reducing pilot workload on the Lightening Pod and on… Read more »


We’d be far better off putting the mod 1+ in our 67 Tranche 2 now and holding off F-35 till block 4 so we don’t have to upgrade them to block 4 at an estimated $22m each. We can wait for the mod 2+ in our Tranche 3.

Nigel Collins

One point we constantly overlook is, the ability to obtain useful data by flying the Typhoon in combat scenarios against our F35s.

No doubt this will help us identify low observable aircraft and help enhance the radars future capabilities?

I’m sure there is plenty going on in the background that we are not privy to!


This refers to the version 1+ E-Scan radar, we should invest in upgrading our 67 Tranche 2 Typhoons with this version now while waiting for the version 2 which will have electronic attack capabilities and put that in the 40 Tranche 3 Typhoons likely from around the middle of the decade. The reasoning is that the current M-Scan version would be almost useless against a peer that can jam it whereas the anti jamming capability of the 1+ is sufficient that it would remain operable. It also offers greater capability than the M-Scan. The other reason is that the F-35B… Read more »

Robert Blay

The current Captor M is still more than capable enough to defeat any current threat.


No, over Syria the Russians have been able to jam it when ever they want to rendering it useless as I said in my original post.

Robert Blay

Really? are you a RAF Typhoon pilot? Captor has a 3rd operating channel, which means it works very well in a high ECM environment. Russia has nothing as capable as Captor, or pretty much any other advanced Western fighter radar.


Do you have a source for this that is not funded by the Russian government? I doubt very much the RAF or UK Government would have released this information even if it was true.


If you follow this link, which is about e-Scan there is a reference to British pilots over Syria calling M-Scan obsolete and prone to jamming.


The Allegation of Russian Capability doesnt originate from British pilots, it comes from General Raymond Thomas of US Special Forces Command who said the Richag-AV mounted in Russian attack helicopters was capable of jamming US radar guided missiles and the GPS system on American drones and it completely shut down all systems on the EC-130.


I hope the RAF will be permitted to keep the Typhoon up to date as it will be the mainstay of the fighting fleet for years to come. What is good to see is Germany finally doing something about its defence capabilities, its about time they started to pay there way in the defence of Europe.


We should also purchase additional upgraded Typhoons tagging on to Germany’s order. Another 40 will do. Just take 40 off the F35 order which as we all know will never be fulfilled in any event.