Leonardo-Finmeccanica has unveiled a second-generation of active electronically scanned-array (AESA) search radars. The flat-panel Osprey system, developed at its Edinburgh, Scotland site, uses two or three AESA antennas positioned around the platform aircraft, each providing 120 degrees of coverage, and has no moving parts.

Each antenna contains 256 Transmit and Receive Modules (TRM) – 25% more than that the single array on the Seaspray 7500E radar fitted to U.S. Coast Guard HC-130J Hercules search aircraft. The antennas, which can be used in several different modes including surface search, air-to-air and synthetic aperture radar and moving target indication, are controlled through a single processing unit which collects the data and displays it as presenting a single radar picture.

Development began three years ago, and the company claims that the technology puts it five years ahead of its competitors. Testing has been performed on Reims-Cessna F406 Caravan II twin turboprop.

Launch customer for the system is Norway, which will have the radar fitted to its new 16-strong fleet of AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters as part of the Norway All Weather Search and Rescue Helicopter (NAWSARH) program. Osprey has also been selected for two undisclosed U.S. requirements to be fitted to fixed-wing aircraft.