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Saab to equip German Eurofighters with Arexis sensor suite

Saab has recently secured an order from Airbus Defence and Space to provide the Arexis Electronic Warfare (EW) sensor suite for the German Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

In June 2023, the German defence procurement office announced its selection of Saab’s Arexis sensor suite for the Eurofighter EK – the EW variant of the German Air Force’s Eurofighter aircraft. This order marks the beginning of the first phase of Saab’s delivery of Arexis under this programme.

Saab will equip 15 of the German Air Force’s Eurofighters for EW missions with solutions including Saab’s Arexis. These aircraft will replace the German Air Force’s Tornado ECR, which are set to be decommissioned from 2030.

“Our solid experience of developing electronic warfare systems for airborne platforms and our long-standing cooperation with Airbus will be crucial to support the delivery of the Eurofighter EK to the German Air Force. Combining advanced hardware and AI-enabled software, our Arexis sensor suite will strengthen the German defence with future-proof electronic warfare capability for decades to come,” says Micael Johansson, CEO and President of Saab.

Arexis is a family of EW systems that includes electronic attack (EA), electronic support (ES), and electronic protection (EP) functions. It uses gallium nitride (GaN) active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology to provide high power output, wide frequency coverage, and low latency. Arexis can detect, identify, locate, and jam a wide range of radar threats, as well as provide situational awareness and self-protection for the aircraft.

Saab states that Arexis is a “perfect fit” for the Eurofighter EK, as it can be packaged into different shapes and forms to suit the aircraft’s configuration. One option is to integrate Arexis into wingtip pods, similar to the EAJP (Electronic Attack Jammer Pod) that Saab developed for the Gripen E. The EAJP is designed to complement the built-in EW systems on the Gripen E and provide an EA capability similar to the Boeing EA-18G Growler.

The Eurofighter EK will be able to perform both suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) and destruction of enemy air defences (DEAD) missions, using a combination of EW and kinetic weapons. The aircraft will also be able to support other platforms in a networked environment, using its advanced sensors and data links. The Eurofighter EK will enhance Germany’s ability to conduct air operations in contested and denied airspace, as well as contribute to NATO’s collective defence.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of DefenceToday.com. Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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