Leonardo AESA radar to go on North African user's unmanned rotorcraft
- Leonardo has signed a contract with Schiebel to provide the PicoSAR active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar, a surveillance system weighing just 10kg
- PicoSAR was a success in 2016, attracting 4 international orders including this contract and a sale to Safran Electronics & Defense for the French Army’s Patroller UAV
- Leonardo is a worldwide leader in airborne radar, providing surveillance and fire control radars to a wide range of international customers including Australia, the UK, Italy and the US
Leonardo has announced, at the Avalon airshow in Geelong, Australia, that the company has been selected by Austrian-based Schiebel to deliver its active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar technology for the Camcopter® S-100 unmanned air system (UAS) being provided to the armed forces of a North African nation. The radar, Leonardo’s PicoSAR, will be used to support border-monitoring and anti-terrorism surveillance missions. PicoSAR will be delivered in 2017 and go into service the same year.
This is the second time Leonardo’s PicoSAR radar has been chosen by Schiebel, the first being in support of a surveillance service contract. The two companies have also demonstrated a multi-sensor suite that included the PicoSAR and Leonardo’s SAGE electronic warfare system on the UAS to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and UK MOD, amongst others. Leonardo is promoting PicoSAR, as well as its Osprey 30 radar and SAGE system to Australia as sensor options for the UAS, which the RAN selected in December 2016.
PicoSAR packages advanced ‘electronically-scanning’ AESA technology into a small and lightweight unit ideally suited for unmanned vehicles. It is suitable for missions over both land and sea. The recent UK Ministry of Defence ‘Unmanned Warrior’ trial, a major UAS demonstration that was held to demonstrate the benefits of unmanned systems to the Royal Navy, saw Leonardo’s SW4-Solo unmanned rotorcraft as well as the Camcopter S-100 both equipped with Leonardo AESA radars and electronic warfare systems. During the trial, the sensors were proven to extend the surveillance of naval vessels and improve situational awareness. With the recent selection of Leonardo’s Osprey for the US Navy’s new MQ-8C Fire Scout UAS, Leonardo is emerging as the leading provider of sensors for the world’s most advanced unmanned rotorcraft.
UK-designed and manufactured, PicoSAR has been flown in Oceania, the Far East, the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, North America and South America. It has been acquired by more than 10 customers with 4 international orders being placed in 2016. PicoSAR is part of Leonardo’s portfolio of airborne surveillance and fire-control radars that includes best-in-class M-Scan (mechanically-scanning) systems as well as E-Scan (electronically scanning) systems. Both surveillance radars and fast-jet fire control radars are designed, manufactured and supported by Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems division.