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19 Nov 14. A €1bn (approximately £800m) contract for the development of a new electronic radar system for the Eurofighter Typhoon has been signed in Scotland. The Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar capability contract was awarded to Eurofighter Jadgflugzeug GmbH by NETMA – the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency – on behalf of the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy. The radar will further improve the Eurofighter Typhoon’s combat effectiveness and, alongside recent announcements for weapon capability upgrades, demonstrates the partners’ commitment to maintain the aircraft’s status as a world class multi role combat aircraft. As well as sustaining UK jobs, the contract also represents a significant step in delivering advanced radar technology required by the Royal Air Force. Meeting with his European counterparts in Edinburgh, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said, “This contract marks a major milestone in the development of the Typhoon programme and offers a significant increase in the capability of the aircraft. The development of this AESA radar is a significant step in delivering technology that will ensure the Royal Air Force is equipped to meet the evolving demands of operations. Following recent announcements on weapon capability enhancements, notably the integration of Storm Shadow, this contract is a further demonstration of our continued commitment to the Typhoon aircraft. The contract also represents another significant investment in the defence industry in Scotland, sustaining around 500 jobs at Selex ES in Edinburgh.”
The introduction of an AESA radar is designed to give the Eurofighter greater vision than its competitors through simultaneous multirole air-to-air and air-to-ground tracking of targets with increased fidelity and range. The contract marks the culmination of considerable investment by the partner nations and industry in developing the technology required to provide Eurofighter-Typhoon with cutting edge sensor capability.
BATTLESPACE Comment: BATTLESPACE was one of the few publications to questions the effect of a Scottish ‘Yes’ vote to Scottish Independence on the Selex radar facility and IP in general. Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that top level meetings were held with Selex top management to ensure that the radar facility would move to the UK in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote, given the sensitivity of the technology and the requirement to employ UK Nationals. BATTLESPACE had suggested that similar concerns had been raised with Thales over the Scout sighting system, but this, we are informed is French not UK technology with just assembly happening in Scotland.
19 Nov 14. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Laser Systems business unit has announced its new Viper™ 2.1 laser, featuring a form factor and interface for use on all directed infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) systems. The Viper™ 2.1 is the latest in the family of Viper™ lasers designed specifically for DIRCM systems. After five years of funding, development and testing, the Viper™ 2.1 will soon be ready for full-scale production alongside the venerable Viper™ family of DIRCM lasers. Viper™ lasers have been fielded and are in full operation on approximately 55 different types of rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, protecting the aircraft, crew and cargo in every theatre of conflict. Manufactured and tested at Northrop Grumman facilities in Apopka and Rolling Meadows, Illinois, more than 3,100 Viper™ lasers have been delivered as part of comprehensive and integrated aircraft survivability equipment (I-ASE) protecting both U.S. and ally warfighters. The Viper™ 2.1 benefits from new design features that take the Viper™ family of lasers to the next level in aircraft protection. The new features include higher power, increased efficiency, reduced