Farnborough 16 July 2014
Finmeccanica has been awarded with an important contract to supply the Raven ES-05 AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) for Saab’s Gripen Next Generation (NG) aircraft, A NATO-interoperable, multi-role fighter. The announcement was given yesterday at Farnborough International Airshow, following the one relating to the AESA system installed on the Typhoon Eurofighter, this is a further acknowledgement of the expertise shown by the Group with Selex ES in the field of electronics for defence.
In addition to the Raven ES AESA radar, the company will also provide the Skyward-G IRST (Infrared Search & Track) passive sensor and IFF (Identification Friend-or-Foe) system, both of which will be contracted for in the next few months. Finmeccanica - Selex ES’s participation in the Gripen NG programme dates back to 2009, when an agreement was signed with Saab for the development of the Raven ES AESA radar. This was followed in 2010 by the selection of the Skyward-G IRST sensor and the IFF system. The Gripen NG, designed for the future network-centric warfare environment, will provide superior situation awareness thanks to Finmeccanica – Selex ES products.
A production-standard Raven AESA radar is now installed on Gripen demonstration aircraft, while flight tests with the Skyward G IRST have been underway since March, achieving excellent results and demonstrating the value of a passive sensor as an integral part of a weapons system. The IFF system will be delivered later in the year.
In a recent development, Finmeccanica – Selex ES’s new BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy (EAD) has been chosen as an electronic warfare option for the Gripen NG and all other versions of the aircraft. Currently, the BriteCloud EAD is the only product of its type on the market and Saab will be the first partner to offer the new decoy, boosting the desirability of Gripen NG for new customers. Live BriteCloud trials on-board the platform are expected to take place by the end of 2014.
Currently, Gripen C/D versions are in service in Sweden, South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic and Thailand. Gripen NG is in full scale development for Sweden and has been down-selected and in final negotiations for Brazil.
On the same day, Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland announced that it has been awarded with long-term support contract from BAE Systems to maintain, repair and upgrade the Royal Air Force (RAF)’s Tornado GR4 fleet. This contract will ensure the Tornado remains battle-ready and able to operate as a key element of the RAF’s fast jet fleet. Electronic warfare software upgrades and ensuring the availability of avionic and electronic warfare systems will form the key work packages.