EDINBURGH — Selex Galileo is targeting near-term development progress on several of its active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radars, with operational trials of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection application among the most advanced.
The U.S. agency has not indicated how many Vixen 500 radars it will buy for its business jets to replace APG-66s, but a small procurement program is expected following the completion of operational testing, says Bob Mason, Selex Galileo vice president for sales and marketing of radar and advanced targeting systems. Development testing showed the system could detect ultralight air vehicles at a range of up to 20 nm.
In the same business area, Selex hopes to deliver the first Raven ES-05 AESA radar for thedemonstrator “in the next few weeks,” Mason says. The system will then enter testing in the second half of the year for development trials.
Switzerland and Sweden are trying to reconcile theirNG procurement plans that should see a combined purchase of more than 80 fighters. The current schedule would see the fighter, with the movable radar to increase its field of view, being fielded around 2018.
The Italian-British defense electronics company also is looking for progress on the Captor-E AESA development for the. The Euroradar consortium — which comprises Selex, Cassidian and Indra — hopes to deliver the first AESA for a Typhoon development test campaign in the second quarter of 2013, with first flight planned later that year. Hardware for the first flight radar “is now coming together,” Mason says.
Typhoon customers have been slow to support the AESA program, even though several have expressed interest in the technology, leaving industry to self-fund much of the work. A government-backed contract is expected next year, although it is unclear which countries will sign on. The U.K. just announced that future Typhoon upgrades are part of its long-term spending plan.
Euroradar partners have agreed on a concept where Cassidian will integrate the system, with Selex Galileo providing transmit/receive modules.
At the same time, Selex also is looking for further applications of the Grifo radar. Talks are ongoing to potentially fit U.S. F-5s used as aggressors with the system. Selex also is in discussion with Turkey’s TAI foruse of the radar.