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German Tornado fighters getting radar warning upgrades

German Air Force Tornado
German Air Force file photo

Panavia Aircraft GmbH has awarded Swedish defense technology company Saab a 400 million SEK (approx. $48M) contract for the upgrade of the radar warning equipment on German Air Force Tornado fighters.

Saab will supply modern digital components, which will enhance the processing power and extend the lifetime of the Tornado’s radar warning equipment.

Deliveries will take place between 2021 and 2025. Saab will carry out the work at its sites in Nuremberg, Germany, and Järfälla, Sweden.

The radar warning upgrade is just one of the updates that the German Air Force plans to introduce for its Tornado fleet in order to keep the aircraft flying until 2030. In May 2020, Panavia Aircraft GmbH, the builder of the Tornado fighter, awarded Hensoldt a contract for the modernization of identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) systems used by the aircraft to the new “Mode 5” standard.

The service is currently also undertaking a Tornado mid-life overhaul, with the first aircraft completing the procedure in February this year.

The contract for Saab builds on an initial order for radar warning equipment for Germany’s Tornado fighters from 1999.

“Mutual trust, reliability and performance are the cornerstones of the successful long-term partnership between Panavia, the German Armed Forces and Saab. We look forward to supporting the Luftwaffe with the latest technologies contributing to the platform’s survivability and mission success. Essential work will be carried out in Germany, which is in line with Saab’s strategy to expand our footprint on the German defense market,” Anders Carp, deputy CEO of Saab and head of business area surveillance, said.