E-San Eurofighter First flight of E-Scan Radar in Eurofighter
With the successful first flight of an E-Scan radar on board a Eurofighter aircraft at EADS Defence Security's (DS) Military Air Systems Flight Test Centre in Manching/Germany, new capabilities of next-generation radar as well as the feasibility of its insertion into the Eurofighter weapon system have been demonstrated. Eurofighter Development Aircraft 5 succesfully made the first flight on 8 May 2007 with the CAESAR (CAPTOR Active Electronically Scanning Radar) demonstrator system.
CAESAR is based on the CAPTOR radar developed by the EuroRadar consortium which is in service on Eurofighter production aircraft. The consortium comprises the European radar system companies EADS Defence Electronics (Germany), SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems (UK), Galileo Avionica (Italy) and INDRA (Spain). The new generation of radar introduces Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA) technology which replaces mechanically steered antennas and high-power transmitters with an electronically steered array on the basis of transmit/receive modules. This array is made up of more than 1,000 transmit/receive modules which give the radar unprecedented versatility and reliability. This enables new mission capabilities for combat aircraft such as simultaneous radar functionalities, air surveillance, air-to-ground and weapon control.
The CAESAR demonstrator, which incorporates software modifications to take advantage of the E-Scan capability, was developed by the EuroRadar consortium in only four years. Following system integration, the radar system was tested within the British/German CECAR programme in spring 2006 aboard a BAC1-11 aircraft.