German sensor systems supplier Hensoldt has received a contract worth approximately 200 million euros for the delivery of radar systems for the latest tranche of German Air Force Eurofighter aircraft.
Airbus awarded Hensoldt the contract in the frame of Germany’s Quadriga program that will see the Luftwaffe receive 38 new aircraft as a replacement for the Tranche 1 airframes.
Germany approved the new aircraft purchase in November 2020 for an estimated cost of around $6.35 billion. The 38 fighters are expected to include 7 twin seater and 31 single seater aircraft.
The contract for Hensoldt includes production and delivery of radar systems and core electronics components which will be produced at the company’s site in Ulm and at consortium partner Indra’s site in Spain.
The new radars will be based on AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) technology. In contrast to conventional systems with a purely mechanically rotating antenna, the radar beam is electronically controlled by a multitude of individual transmit/receive modules. This principle in combination with a highly sophisticated multichannel receiver allows several tasks to be performed at the same time, and no longer one after the other like previously, e.g. tracking individual targets while scanning a wide expanse of the airspace in front of the aircraft.
“The high pace of development in the field of electronics and, above all, digitalization constantly gives rise to new applications. With this contract, the Eurofighter will benefit in the future from a primary sensor that is technologically top class and will improve the aircraft’s survivability in even high-intensity conflicts,” said Hensoldt CEO Thomas Müller. “The fact that the radar will be produced by a European consortium led by Hensoldt, with Indra operating as main partner, shows that there is good cooperation in Europe on joint armament programs.”
Hensoldt was already involved in the development and production of the sensor systems currently used in Eurofighter aircraft. At present, the company has a workforce of 2,500 people at its main production site in Ulm and is planning to hire 300 new employees for the Hensoldt Group this year. The sensor specialist is investing 30 million euros in the construction of a radio frequency technology development center in Ulm, among other things. In addition to electronic components for the new Eurofighter radar, AI-based sensors for a wide range of applications will also be developed there.