EADS Defence & Security successfully concludes European radar technology research programmes
* AMSAR and CECAR programmes opened up unprecedented radar capabilities
* Next technology steps toward multifunction sensors already under way
06 May 2009
EADS Defence & Security (DS) together with its partner companies has successfully concluded two major radar technology programmes paving the way for the unprecedented performance of the new AESA radar technology (AESA = Active Electronically Scanning Array).
The German-French-British research programme AMSAR (= Airborne Multirole Solid state Active array Radar) after extensive flight tests of the multi-channel AESA radar demonstrator in 2008 now ended with the delivery of data evaluation reports by Defence Electronics, an integrated business unit of DS, SELEX Galileo and Thales. Almost at the same time the German-British CECAR programme (CECAR = Captor E-sCAn Risk-reduction) led to successful integration of a radar demonstrator system specifically adapted to the Eurofighter/Typhoon. Under CECAR, Defence Electronics together with SELEX Galileo developed a radar demonstrator proving the feasibility of replacing the existing "Captor" Eurofighter radar. The demonstrator dubbed "CAESAR" was successfully flown on-board Eurofighter in 2007 (see photo).
"Over more than a decade, the joint effort of our customer nations and the partner industries has proven the enormous potential of AESA technology", summarizes Bernd Wenzler, CEO of Defence Electronics, an integrated activity of EADS Defence & Security. "From this basis we are already looking at the next technology steps toward multifunction sensors, which will introduce multisensor performance and reduce through-life cost but need similar longterm research effort."
AMSAR was a technology programme jointly pursued since the early 1990s by an industrial consortium comprising Defence Electronics, SELEX Galileo and Thales aiming at the development of the next-generation AESA radar technology. The programme aimed at de-risking AESA radar technologies prior to their potential insertion into service with different platforms of the land, sea and air forces.
AESA technology offers operational advantages such as simultaneous exertion of numerous radar modes, jamming resistance and increased reliability, all amounting to significantly reduced life-cycle cost. Instead of mechanical movement of the antenna, AESA radars use electronical steering exerted by up to several thousand of T/R (= transmit/receive) modules, basically small radars itself which enable maximum performance and versatility.
Defence Electronics owns and operates an automated cleanroom production facility at its Ulm site – the so-called MicroWaveFactory – which makes it a major partner in the most important AESA programmes. Amongst others, the company is currently delivering high-performing AESA T/R modules for the space programme TerraSAR, the tri-national air defence programme MEADS and the German ground surveillance programme BÜR.
Defence Electronics is an integrated activity of EADS Defence & Security (DS). DS is a systems solutions provider for armed forces and civil security worldwide. Its portfolio ranges from sensors and secure networks through missiles to aircraft and UAVs as well as global security, service and support solutions. In 2008, DS – with around 23,000 employees – achieved revenues of € 5.7 billion. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2008, EADS generated revenues of € 43.3 billion and employed a workforce of about 118,000.
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