Home Air Germany acquires 13 next-gen LUNA drones, new radar for the Eurofighters

Germany acquires 13 next-gen LUNA drones, new radar for the Eurofighters

Photo: Bundeswehr

The Bundeswehr’s Budget Committee approved an amendment agreement for the procurement of 13 Luna-NG drones and the timely development of new Eurofighter radars, September 20.

The Bundeswehr is set to acquire a total of 13 new HUSAR systems (Highly efficient unmanned systems for medium-range imaging reconnaissance) designed for small aircraft target locations. HUSAR is known in the industry as LUNA-NG/B (Airborne Unmanned Close Reconnaissance Equipment Next Generation/Bundeswehr).

This acquisition will include twelve series systems and a training system, with delivery to troops expected to commence in 2025. As per the official announcement, the total contract value is around 290.9 million euros. 

The unmanned aerial system Luna NG (short for “unmanned short-range reconnaissance equipment, next generation”) is equipped with the capability to detect, classify, and identify objects in real-time. It includes a ground control station and multiple unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as drones.

Furthermore, the system includes a launch catapult, an optional net apparatus for capturing drones upon landing, and tools to expedite repairs. This system is manufactured by the German defense group Rheinmetall. Notably, in August, the company announced an order for the delivery of the Luna NG air-supported short-range reconnaissance system to Ukraine, with the expected delivery date set for the end of the year.

Through the modification of a contract established in 2020, which pertains to the joint German-Spanish development of a new radar system for the Eurofighter, there is a clear intent to ensure the comprehensive modernization of the entire fleet by 2028. This modernization initiative involves equipping all Air Force Eurofighters with an E-Scan radar.

As officially announced, this radar enhancement will offer pilots improved capabilities in detecting and tracking both air-to-air and air-to-ground targets, with the added advantage of simultaneously and independently tracking multiple targets. Moreover, the new electronic beam-scanning radar is designed to be more resilient to jamming.

Newly ordered fighter jets, comprising 38 Eurofighters set to enter service from 2025, will come equipped with the E-Scan radar as standard. These aircraft will replace the older jets procured between 2003 and 2008, whose technical feasibility for overhaul can no longer be assured.

The German government will allocate 197.7 million euros for the retrofitting of the Eurofighter fleet’s radar over the subsequent years.