skip to main content

Saab starts flight testing AESA fighter radar

Saab has begun flight testing a new multi-mode X-band active electronically scanned array (AESA) fighter radar being offered as an addition to the company’s PS-05/A radar family.

Saab is using a two-seat Gripen D for flight to test its new X-band AESA radar. (Saab)

Saab is using a two-seat Gripen D for flight to test its new X-band AESA radar. (Saab)

The radar combines a new AESA front end based on Gallium Nitride (GaN) transmit/receive modules, with the back-end processing and mode set from the existing PS-05/A Mk 4 mechanically-scanned radar. Saab is pitching the new AESA radar to a number of different market segments, including fighter upgrades, aggressor platforms, and lightweight fighter/trainer aircraft.

Developed by Saab’s radar solutions business unit in Gothenburg, the new X-band AESA radar is being offered as an upgrade option for Gripen C/D customers. In addition, the modular and scaleable AESA architecture will allow for different array apertures tailored to other airframe installations and applications, including airborne surveillance.

The first flight trial was conducted on 8 April, with the AESA radar fitted in a two-seat Gripen D fighter operating from the company’s Linköping facility. Anders Carp, senior vice-president and head of Saab’s surveillance business area, told journalists during a conference call on 24 April that the X-band AESA prototype completed “a very successful first flight, both in terms of capability and stability”.

The flight test, which lasted about 90 minutes, saw the radar detect and track targets in both air-to-air and air-to-ground modes. Further validation trials are expected over the next three to four months, with approximately 15 flight tests to be flown in that period using the Gripen D aircraft.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...