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UK awards E-Scan radar contract for Typhoon

Typhoon aircraft ZK355/BS116 alongside an ECRS Mk 2 radar model in the test and evaluation hangar at BAE Systems in Warton. (BAE Systems)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded BAE Systems GBP870 million (USD1.1 billion) for further development and integration of the European Common Radar System Mark 2 (ECRS Mk 2) for the Royal Air Force's (RAF's) fleet of Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft.

Announced on 4 July, the electronically scanned (E-Scan) radar award for BAE Systems and its partner Leonardo is part of a wider GBP2.35 billion investment in continued technology upgrades for the RAF's Typhoon fleet announced in July 2022.

News of the award came weeks after Leonardo delivered in April the first ECRS Mk 2 radar to BAE Systems for integration aboard Eurofighter test aircraft ZK355/BS116 ahead of the first flight planned for 2024. Further aircraft will be added to the flight-test programme as it progresses.

As part of this radar upgrade, work is continuing on developing the cockpit iterations that will enable a common display of both the current mechanically scanned Captor M-Scan (sometimes called Captor-M) radar data for the 67 Tranche 2 Typhoons that will retain this system and for the E-Scan (sometimes called Captor-E) data for the 40 Tranche 3 Typhoons that will be upgraded.

Initial operating capability (defined by the RAF as being “a robust capability capable of going to war”) for the ECRS Mk 2 is scheduled for 2030, although officials have earlier told Janes that this date can be brought forward, “if required”.

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