Leonardo’s radar business has added a new AESA fighter radar product to its portfolio. The company has already developed the ES-05 Raven for the Gripen and—as part of the Euroradar consortium—Captor-E for the Typhoon, with active electronically scanned array (“E-Scan”) technology, and now it is introducing the Grifo-E that could be adapted for applications that include light fighters and attack aircraft.

Italy's FIAR developed the initial Grifo mechanically-scanned (“M-Scan”) radar before it came under the purview of Selex Galileo, then Selex ES, and now Leonardo (Outdoor Exhibit L1). A number of versions have been produced, tailored to match the requirements of individual aircraft types. More than 450 have been delivered to serve with six air forces. Among other applications, M-Scan Grifo radars have been installed as part of upgrades for the Dassault Mirage III, Chengdu F-7, and Northrop F-5, as well as new equipment on the Aero L-159 ALCA.

Based on its experience with M-Scan Grifo radars, Leonardo has developed the E-Scan derivative to offer a wide range of modes and capabilities in a lightweight and cost-effective package. The nature of the E-Scan antenna array, which is built up from hundreds of individual transmit/receive modules with no moving parts, makes it easier to adapt to the constraints imposed by differing nose profiles and radome dimensions of different aircraft types.

Leonardo expects the qualification of the Grifo-E to be concluded next year and could be ready to deliver production radars from 2020. The company noted that the elements within the Grifo-E are mature and proven, with the IP owned by the company. The latter makes the radar a readily exportable system. It has been developed by Leonardo’s facilities in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Nerviano, Italy.

In the meantime, Leonardo is showing the Grifo-346 M-Scan radar installed in the M-346FA fighter attack derivative of the advanced trainer this week at the Farnborough Airshow, as is a standalone E-Scan system. The M-Scan radar is at an advanced stage of integration and will provide a range of modes for air combat, surface attack, and navigation. Among the radar’s capabilities are synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and Inverse SAR, while in track-while-scan mode it can track up to 10 aerial targets simultaneously. Maximum range is greater than 92 km (50 nm).