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Saab starts AESA X-band fighter radar trials

Gripen D fighter with X-band AESA radar
The host aircraft during the air trial was a Gripen D fighter. Photo: Saab

Swedish defense technology company Saab announced it has completed the first air trials of its new fighter X-band Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.

The company said it would offer the radar as a new addition to its PS-05/A radar family.

The radar is designed for fighter aircraft and can be adapted to a variety of platforms. The company previously revealed that a version of the new AESA antenna had been sold to a US government customer.

The host aircraft during the air trial was a Gripen D aircraft, which is currently offered with Saab’s latest Mk4 radar. The new version of the radar can be offered to Gripen C/D operators, as an upgrade.

The new AESA radar features Gallium nitride (GaN), a material that gives lower power consumption and improved heat resistance. Saab says this enables wider bandwidth and greater reliability, availability and efficiency. The new AESA radar promises better performance against small targets, enhanced electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) capability as well as improved ability to support more advanced weaponry.

“This is an important step in the development of our new fighter AESA radar. We see great possibilities for the radar, and its modular, adaptable and scalable design means it can also be used for a range of other applications”, says Anders Carp, SVP and head of Saab’s business area surveillance.