– Leonardo delivered to BAE Systems the prototype of the ECRS Mk2 radar (European Common Radar System Mk2), marking the last stage of the development program for the UK fleet of Typhoon aircraft. Leonardo is developing the ECRS Mk2 in Edinburgh, the site of excellence for combat radars, and Luton, where the company conducts advanced electronic warfare research, development and manufacturing activities. The radar will now undergo integration work and ground tests, in preparation for the first test flight aboard the Eurofighter, scheduled for next year. Testing will take place at BAE Systems' dedicated flight test site in Lancashire.
The ECRS Mk2 is equipped with a newly developed multi-functional array (MFA) antenna capable of overseeing traditional radar functions, such as target search and acquisition, and electronic warfare tasks. This means that the Eurofighter Typhoon will be able to locate and neutralize enemy radars, thanks to the generation of a powerful electronic jamming, remaining out of range of the threat.
“This delivery – said Mark Stead, SVP Radar & Advanced Targeting, Leonardo UK – represents the most important step in giving the Typhoon its rightful place in future combat scenarios, ensuring the UK can deploy its air power where required. Thanks to the ECRS Mk2, RAF pilots will be able to locate, identify and neutralize opposing air defences, through the combination of capabilities that will increase the field effectiveness and survivability of British and allied fighters”.
“The ECRS Mk2 radar is just one of several key features we are integrating to ensure the Typhoon plays a central role in global air defense for decades to come.” Says Richard Hamilton, Typhoon Program Director, Europe – BAE Systems Air. "Together with improved mission systems, advanced sensors, weapons systems and displays, we will deliver an air supremacy capability to protect RAF pilots and ensure the UK develops key technologies in air combat."
For Lyndon Hoyle, director of the Typhoon Delivery Team of the DE&S (Defence Equipment and Support), the procurement agency of the UK Ministry of Defense: “The delivery of the prototype radar to the Warton plant is the latest milestone of this exciting program . This is an achievement that has only been possible thanks to the hard work and excellent collaboration between DE&S, Air Command and industry, key ingredients for success, which we will continue to carry into the next phase of the programme.”
Overall the Typhoon program supports over 20.000 highly skilled jobs in the UK. The ECRS Mk2 development work alone supports 600, including over 300 at Leonardo's Edinburgh site, 100 at Luton and the 120 staff employed at BAE Systems' Lancashire site. Through the new radar and the wider package of planned improvements funded by the UK MoD, the program will support up to 1.300 UK jobs.
Italy too, through engineers from the Leonardo site in Nerviano, who work in teams with colleagues in Edinburgh, is contributing to the development program of the new radar, in view of a potential integration of the ECRS Mk2 on its Eurofighters. In the event of full participation in the programme, this collaboration will enable the acquisition of system design capabilities, which will ensure the Ministry of Defense has control of the radar at every stage of its operational life.
In addition to the collaboration on the ECRS Mk2 radar, Leonardo UK and BAE Systems are also the main partners of the UK team for the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP), the partnership between the UK, Italy and Japan for the sixth generation of combat aircraft, which they will enter service in 2035. The two companies' involvement in both programs will create a number of opportunities to develop technology and skills across the ECRS Mk2 and the advanced electronics suite of the GCAP platform, reducing risk and accelerating both programmes.