The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has received the first prototype of the European Common Radar System Mark 2 (ECRS Mk 2) from Leonardo. The ECRS Mk 2 is a new active electronically scanned-array (AESA) fighter radar that will be integrated into the Eurofighter Typhoon, a multi-role combat aircraft.
The ECRS Mk 2 is designed to provide superior situational awareness, target detection and tracking, and electronic warfare capabilities to Typhoon pilots. It features a multi-functional array (MFA) that can perform both radar and electronic attack functions simultaneously, giving the Typhoon an edge over its adversaries. The ECRS Mk 2 can also jam enemy radars and communications while staying out of their range.
The delivery of the first ECRS Mk 2 prototype marks a significant milestone in the ongoing development programme for the UK Typhoon fleet, which aims to enhance its performance and survivability in the future battlespace. The radar will undergo integration work and ground-based testing at BAE Systems’ flight testing facility in Lancashire, before its first flight tests on-board the Typhoon next year.
The ECRS Mk 2 programme is part of a wider package of enhancements for the Typhoon, which includes improved mission systems, sensors, weapons and displays. The programme is funded by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and supports more than 20,000 highly-skilled jobs across the UK, including 600 roles at Leonardo’s site in Edinburgh, 100 in Luton and 120 at BAE Systems in Lancashire.
The ECRS Mk 2 is also being considered by other Eurofighter partner nations, such as Italy, Germany and Spain, as well as potential export customers. Leonardo in Italy is collaborating with Leonardo in the UK on the development of the radar, with engineers from both sites working together to ensure sovereign control over the system throughout its operational life.
European Common Radar System Mark 2 (ECRS Mk 2)
The European Common Radar System Mark 2 (ECRS Mk2) is a new generation of radar technology that will enhance the capabilities of the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. The ECRS Mk2 is a multi-functional array (MFA) radar that can perform multiple tasks simultaneously, such as air-to-air, air-to-ground, and electronic warfare.
The ECRS Mk2 is designed to provide superior situational awareness, detection, tracking, and targeting of multiple threats in complex and contested environments. The ECRS Mk2 is also compatible with future weapons and systems, such as the Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).
The ECRS Mk2 is a collaborative project between the four Eurofighter partner nations: Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The radar is being developed by a consortium of European companies, led by Leonardo UK and including Hensoldt (Germany), Indra (Spain), and Leonardo Italy.
The ECRS Mk2 is expected to enter service in the mid-2020s, replacing the current Captor-M mechanically scanned radar. The ECRS Mk2 will offer significant advantages over the Captor-M, such as increased range, sensitivity, reliability, and survivability.
The ECRS Mk2 is one of the key upgrades that will ensure the Eurofighter Typhoon remains a world-class fighter aircraft for decades to come. The Eurofighter Typhoon is a highly agile, multi-role combat aircraft that can operate in all weather conditions and across a wide spectrum of missions.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is currently in service with seven nations: Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Austria, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. The Eurofighter Typhoon has also been selected by Kuwait and Qatar and is being offered to other potential customers around the world.