The advent of AESA radar technology has been one of the most significant steps in military aviation in a generation. Where might it be headed next, asks Tim Fish?
Although airborne AESA radars have been around since the 1990s, ongoing technological developments are set to increase their capabilities. Not only will they be able to do more in terms of functionality, but radar performance is set to improve as well. Furthermore, these advances are taking place at a time when the proliferation of AESA radar is expanding.
Modern air forces are putting the latest AESA radars into their newest fifth-generation fighters as well as upgrading existing fourth-generation fighters and supporting aircraft. Meanwhile smaller, less modern air forces also want to install AESA radar on their aircraft fleets and replace older radar that uses mechanical arrays.