German Tornados get radar warning system upgrade

Saab has received an order from Panavia Aircraft to upgrade the radar warning equipment on the Tornado aircraft operated by the German Air Force, in a contract worth approximately SEK400m ($48.4m).

According to a Saab release on May 25, the company will supply digital components to enhance the processing power and extend the lifetime of the Tornado’s current radar warning equipment, with deliveries taking place between 2021-2025. Saab will carry out the work at its sites in Nuremberg, Germany and Järfälla, Sweden.

German Tornado
Germany will gradually replace its Tornado fleet with the more modern Eurofighter platform. USAF/Senior Airman Tristin English

Anders Carp, deputy CEO of Saab and head of business area Surveillance, said: “We look forward to supporting the Luftwaffe with the latest technologies contributing to the platform’s survivability and mission success. Essential work will be carried out in Germany, which is in line with Saab’s strategy to expand our footprint on the German defence market.”

Saab received an initial order for radar warning equipment for Germany’s Tornado fighters in 1999, with the latest versions intended to supply increased situational awareness of the electromagnetic spectrum in contested environments.

At present the German Air Force operates 85 Tornado aircraft across three variants. AirForces Intelligence states that 55 Tornados will be replaced by Eurofighter Tranche 3 platforms, as part of a wider 93-unit purchase that will see the 38 older Tranche 1 Eurofighters removed from service.