A Typhoon fighter jet has been equipped with the European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mark 2 Radar, a cutting-edge radar developed by Leonardo UK.

This integration is part of a broader £2.35 billion investment aimed at upgrading the capabilities of the Typhoon.

The radar, featuring a multi-functional array (MFA), enables the Typhoon to detect, identify, and track multiple targets simultaneously in the air and on the ground, and also execute electronic warfare tasks.

The prototype radar, which has undergone ground testing at BAE Systems’ facility in Warton, Lancashire, has been installed on a UK Typhoon test and evaluation aircraft (BS116) by BAE Systems.

This installation marks a preparatory phase for initial flight trials.

Lyndon Hoyle, Typhoon Delivery Team Head, spoke on the latest advancement, saying, “This is the latest step in our mission to work alongside the RAF and Industry in harnessing the technology we need to develop cutting-edge capabilities that can deliver a competitive edge for the UK Armed Forces of tomorrow.”

The next steps involve further testing and ground runs at Warton, leading up to the planned initial flight trials later in the year.

Andy Holden, Radar Delivery Director at BAE Systems’ Air sector, highlighted the strategic importance of this upgrade for the Typhoon, saying, “Equipping the aircraft with this prototype radar moves us a step closer to delivering new capability which ensures Typhoon’s role as the backbone of combat air defence for decades to come.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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farouk
farouk
2 months ago

I do hope whoever comes into power later on this year doesn’t cancel this and go with the same radar that Germany and Spain are getting in which to save some money

QE1045
QE1045
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

This is as much a technology and industry bridge for Tempest as it is a capability enhancement for Typhoon. Besides, this provides an EW capability that would otherwise need to be replaced with a pod solution as the Germans are doing.

farouk
farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  QE1045

I know that, you know that, but will the next Dec Sec know that?

PhilWestMids
PhilWestMids
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Hopefully whatever government we end up with realise that this upgrade along with other upgrades are in desperate need to keep the RAF top tier and all FGR4 standard need this not just the tranche 3 40.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  PhilWestMids

Ideally the UK government will order another batch of 30-40 typhoons to bridge the gap between typhoon and tempest. The RAF fast jet numbers really will drop off once tranche 1s retired.
We are after all by everyone’s estimations, even Grant Shapps slowly cognitive brain, approaching another world war Vs a peer or near peer enemy.
It really is time to rearm.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Sunak and hunt will say no to defence going up. Got tax cuts for rich folks to fund.
Hunts way to pay for tax could be described as back of a fag packet that’s been through the wash twice. Doesn’t add up.

Bob
Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

More like tax cuts to buy votes.

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

This money could almost cover such a purchase.

Better to buy new tranche 4 airframes that spend this much on juts 40 tranche 3 aircraft.

Those tranche 4 aircraft could go on to form a dedicated EW force even after Tempest comes in.

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  PhilWestMids

I grew its worth it if the entire fleet of tranche 2 and 3 aircraft are getting it but seems a massive expensive for just 40 tranche 3 aircraft.

Also it’s not entering service until 2030. Half the typhoon fleet will be scrapped by then and the few getting this radar will be just 10 years out from Out of Service Date of the aircraft.

Sure that can be extended but we have a very bad track record on extending aircraft life’s.

We normally cut them short well before OSD.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

This radar was indeed delayed by a previous Labour Govt so your point is well made, but equally what radar would be used in Tempest if it were indeed cancelled. Without this radar (or its future offspring) Tempest would lose much of its capability, an American solution would be required most like which would effectively take out much of Tempests foreign sales potential as the US would effectively have control of who we sell to hardly a good factor when trying to compete against their solutions. If a European solution was used instead then how cooperative would they be, advantages… Read more »

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Can you show me any evidence of labour delaying this please?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

They are. You just know it’s coming.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
2 months ago
Reply to  QE1045

More effectively complements our F35’s to boot. Makes you wonder why Germany doesn’t opt, since it intends to go with Typhoon.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Because it wants to retain its own sovereign radar capability, it wanted its own radar in the Typhoon from day one.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
2 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Yes, indeed. The ‘wonder’ was rhetorical. It was working on behalf of the EU over many years that led me to the ‘suspicion’ it was dominance by another name.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
2 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Germany’s own radar was I think a licence built U.S. system. That is the “European way’.

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  QE1045

The radar makes great sense as a bridge to Tempest however Tempest is gone GCAP is in and Japan has its own ideas and very good technology in radars which means the M2 radar won’t be going in to Tempest.

QE1045
QE1045
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

It’s still called Tempest in the UK and will remain that way. Mk2 was never going into Tempest but is an important technology bridge and many of the new technologies will be carried over into MRFS, the Tempest’s radar. Joint Anglo-Japanese radar work is also on going through JAGUAR and that will also feed into MRFS.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Agreed, and increases the order to replace some or all of the ones due for early retirement.

I have not found any official clarification that we will not purchase any more in the future. Have you by any chance?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

You know we won’t order more Typhoons Nigel. Come on.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

We won’t, but we should, infact we should not be sunsetting the tranche 1s until we have the replacements via a new batch.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

We won’t, because we are already spending £2.35Bn upgrading the ones we have. That’s a serious investment. The RAF doesn’t want T1 Typhoons. Any increase in combat air would come from more F35B’s and further investment in Tempest or integrating new capabilitys onto T2/3 Typhoons. If the MOD ordered says 40 new Typhoons tomorrow, the first handful wouldn’t arrive before 2029-30, and the RAF would need a considerable ramp up in pilot and engineering training to fulfil the extra capacity. Especially when we need to grow the F35 force. Something we are already struggling with. I’d dearly love the RAF… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

As always, the sensible reality mate.
We clearly cannot have both extra mass and Tier1 kit.
So what is the solution, as we are far too small. David makes a good point further down re GBAD. The latest Typhoon and it’s radar will be negated if the force can not get off the ground as it’s ground infrastructure is gone. We know what that infrastructure comprises, certain key buildings at 2 or 3 locations as assets become ever more advanced and rely on these places.
Budget needs more cash, not Schapps grandstanding.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Cannot see this being cancelled by Healey or anyone, if works as anticipated. Too many advantages, with the swashplate repositioner alone giving such a significantly greater area of regard, as you know – effectively allowing pilot to nulllify fighter’s doppler signature whilst still keeping opponent in notch for initial missile guidance. Easy for anyone to comprehend, no matter the Party or, dare one say, HM Treasury official.

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Honestly I have to ask questions about a £2 billion+ radar and upgrade that’s only going on 40 Typhoons that will all be over 20 years old by the time they get it and just 10 years away from retirement.

John Clark
John Clark
2 months ago

I think Radar 2 has somewhat missed the boat, it’s slow as molasses development and equally glacial fielding means it’s ‘cutting edge’ technology is already being overtaken in the lab. Fielded in 2030 ‘ish’ and then only on a handful of tranche 3 jets, while at the same time, Tempest prototypes will be flying (or about to fly) with a radar a whole generation ahead in technology. This should have been fielded in 2020 and now being rolled out across the Tranche 2 and 3 fleets as part of fleet wide upgrade. I wouldn’t be surprised if it never gets… Read more »

John M
John M
2 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Your pessimism is well founded. However, by extension the Tempest solution in service date may also be some way off as we shouldn’t underestimate the time from flying prototypes to operational capability. I think we need an interim, particularly an e-scan version, to provide experience and inform the Tempest solution as QE1045 suggests above.

Last edited 2 months ago by John M
monkey spanker
monkey spanker
2 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

So will tempest have a new radar at 2035 and will it be much better?
What I don’t know is the retirement dates for typhoons, I assume depends on tempest entering service on time.
Another interesting thing is what are the Japanese and Italians going to name it.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Well as Japan likes stormy names themselves and the aircraft it will replace is of course called zero I suspect it might at least think about using the name of the original fighter that was designed to replace the original zero. So Reppū might be the obvious choice which conveniently means ‘strong wind’.

David
David
2 months ago

Smaller numbers of manned fighter are inevitable considering training and recruitment issues across the forces so 40 T3 with radar 2, 60 or so T2 with mech scanned and by the time R2 comes into service , hopefulky we are at 50 plus F35B with block 4 in the offing and some actual weapons options. Then Tempest should take the next leap in tech. Ukraine has shown that Russia has been unable to gain air superiority against older gen fighters . The key gap though for UK is GBAD. Our bases, fuels, power gen, command and storage facilities would get… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  David

Yes, sensible, realistic post.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  David

A very sensible summary, David 👍

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago
Reply to  David

The lack of either side gaining Air Superiority in Ukraine has nothing to do with opposing Fighters,it’s due to the comprehensive ADA/SAM networks that both sides employ.Air to Air combat is the exception rather than the rule there.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
2 months ago

The enhancement, if that is all it is and it may be far more than that, is also necessary if the U.K. is to remain in the forefront of high technology in the coming century. What are the chances?