Meggitt secures RAF Typhoon radome contract

UK-based aerospace, defence and energy specialist, Meggitt, announced on November 10 that it has won a £4.2m contract to develop and deliver a new radome for the UK’s Eurofighter Typhoon fleet.

As part of the deal, Meggitt will develop a new higher- and broader-bandwidth radome that will be integrated onto the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighters. It will enable the effective operation of the new European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk2 – an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, which is being developed by BAE Systems and Leonardo. As per the current plan, the RAF’s Typhoon fleet will be equipped with the ECRS Mk2 system from the mid-2020s.

Typhoon FGR4 [MoD Crown Copyright/Sgt 'Matty' Matthews] #1
From the mid-2020s, the RAF's Typhoon multi-role fighter fleet will be equipped with the ECRS Mk2 AESA radar system, which is currently being developed by BAE Systems and Leonardo. MoD Crown Copyright/Sgt 'Matty' Matthews 

Meggitt states that its “innovative nose radome technology” will protect the RAF Typhoon’s new radar instrumentation from environmental effects. It will also “prevent electromagnetic interference whilst being aerodynamically stable and highly transmissive for the AESA radar system’s operational modes.”

Chris Allen, president of Meggitt’s Airframe division, said: “This next generation radar will provide game-changing capabilities to the Typhoon. Our Stevenage facility is a specialist site for this class of cutting-edge radome development and manufacture. We are so proud to be associated with this programme, working with BAE Systems and Leonardo to meet the future ongoing operational needs of the RAF.”

Typhoon FGR4 ECRS Mk2 [UK MoD]
The European Common Radar System Mk 2 (ECRS2) will provide both traditional radar functions and new electronic warfare capabilities for the RAF's Typhoon fleet. MoD Crown Copyright

The ECRS Mk2 will replace the mechanically-scanning radar that the RAF’s Typhoon fleet is currently equipped with. It features a multi-functional array (MFA) that will provide the multi-role fighters with new electronic warfare (EW) and wide-band electronic attack (EA) capabilities, along with traditional radar functions. The system will allow RAF pilots to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming, adding an additional suppression/destruction of enemy air defences (SEAD/DEAD) role to the multi-role fighter’s remit.

The UK’s move to equip the RAF’s Typhoon fleet with the ECRS Mk2 AESA radar system parallels similar commitments being made by Germany and Spain. These two European nations are fulfilling their own national requirements for an update radar system and will be fitting the E-Scan AESA radar to the Eurofighter fleets.