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Leonardo gets €260M for German, Spanish Eurofighter AESA radar upgrade work

Typhoon AESA upgrade
Photo: Hensoldt

Italian defense technology company Leonardo has received contracts worth 269 million euros for work on the delivery of new e-scan radars for German and Spanish Typhoon fighter fleets.

Leonardo already leads the development and delivery of the Typhoon’s Eurofighter Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk0 and ECRS Mk2 radars, and will now be involved in the delivery of the ECRS Mk1 radar, which is an effort led by Hensoldt.

The consortium developing ECRS Mk1 involves Germany’s Hensoldt and Spain’s Indra. The radar will ultimately be delivered to Eurofighter partner Airbus Defence & Space for installation in German and Spanish Eurofighter combat aircraft. The radar builds on components of the CAPTOR-E radar system, but is different in core elements and operational capabilities.

Hensoldt received the contract from Airbus to deliver the active electronic scanning array (AESA) radars in July 2020. The contract foresees the delivery and integration of 110 Captor-E radars for Germany and an initial batch of 5 radars for Spain to be delivered by 2023.

Leonardo will be responsible for conducting development work on new wideband capabilities and provide core parts of the new radar’s antenna, APSC (Antenna Power Supply & Control) and its processor.

The company is already the design authority for the ECRS Mk0 E-scan radar ordered by Kuwait and Qatar, and for the UK-led ECRS Mk2 radar.

The German and Spanish ECRS Mk1 radar introduces a digital multi-channel receiver and new wideband transmit receive modules, enhancing Mk0 capability.

In addition to the production of core antenna, APSC and processor components, Hensoldt has contracted Leonardo to perform development work on wideband capabilities that will exploit these new receiver and transmit receive modules to boost the ECRS Mk1’s detection range and accuracy. The first ECRS Mk1 radar is expected to be produced in 2025.

Leonardo will deliver modules for the ECRS Mk1 from its sites in Nerviano, Edinburgh, Campi Bisenzio and Palermo.