Flight trials have begun on a new AESA radar for Typhoon following completion of ground tests.

In November 2014, at the Edinburgh office of Selex ES, the European consortium Eurofighter GmbH and the inter-governmental agency NETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency) signed a contract worth £1 billion to develop the new electronically scanned Captor-E radar for the Typhoon.

Flight trials of the E-Scan AESA radar have begun following the successful completion of ground tests using a UK Eurofighter Typhoon test aircraft, clearing the path towards full integration of the radar.

The following information comes from a press release.

The ground tests were carried out on Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) 5 with the detection and tracking of airborne targets at significant range.

Flight tests have now begun at BAE Systems’ site in Warton, Lancashire, where IPA5 undertook a flight of around one hour in duration on Friday 8th July. A second test aircraft, IPA8 based in Germany, is also set to join the integration programme.

The trials are designed to ensure the radar and weapons system reach the required capability in time for first deliveries to the Kuwait Air Force, which became the aircraft’s eighth customer earlier this year.

Alan Barton, Delivery Director – Typhoon Radar Programmes for BAE Systems, said:

“Following the successful completion of this ground testing phase, flight testing using IPA5 has now commenced, where we will prove in-flight what we have successfully demonstrated during the ground tests. The industry teams across Europe are working very collaboratively to drive this key Typhoon capability programme successfully forward.”

Andrew Cowdery, Chairman of Euroradar, said:

“The Typhoon Captor-E provides significantly more power than most competing systems and we’re looking forward to demonstrating the combat edge this brings to the platform in live flight trials. Combined with the fighter’s large nose aperture and the ability to move the radar antenna, the Typhoon has a field of view of 200 degrees and the flight tests will show the discriminating advantages this will bring.”

E-Scan radar

The E-Scan Radar equipment and Weapons System capability will be incrementally enhanced over the next three years to enable the required capability (P3E Standard) to be available for the first deliveries to the Kuwait Air Force.

The new radar, provided by the Euroradar consortium, which is led by Leonardo-Finmeccanica, underpins the Typhoon’s current and future capability evolution.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

How far behind schedule are they?

Max Baker

Are the British typhoons more advanced than other nations… I heard that we install our own tech inside of them

James Gale

About time. This will give the Typhoon bigger teeth! You simply cannot compete in a modern combat environment with a mechanically scanned radar.


I can’t remember where but I did read some comment somewhere from someone that seemed to know what they were talking about (I know – that’s the most pathetic source citation ever) that existing Captor is actually better than some low-end AESA units out there so maybe don’t be too despondent about current CAPTOR capability. Apparently the huge nose cone in the Typhoon is a big advantage because it can house an unusually large radar array for an aircraft. Having said that, the incremental leap to unusually large (for an aircraft) AESA array will be amazing, especially because it is… Read more »

David Anthony Simpson

It’s an inverse world though James where an export customer gets the new kit first. But then you know all about that eh?

Ian Murray

I spy monograms!

Ian Murray
Charles Verrier

David Sampson – The article implies that the Kuwait order was conditional on the inclusion of the AESA (which is why it needs to be ready in time for those deliveries – and ahead of retro-fit for UK).

Also, Typhoon isn’t British, it’s an International development with Eurofighter GmbH HQ being in Bavaria. Arguably, that makes the UK an export customer too!

Ulises Velez

i like one copy of the “uk-defence-journal” my physical address is : ulises-m-velez,sd-6,sauce-st.- urb.valle-hermoso,hormigueros,puerto-rico-00660-1318.usa.