The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded BAE Systems a £870 m contract to deliver a new radar to enhance the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Typhoon fighter jet fleet and strengthen the aircraft’s control of the airspace whilst providing cutting-edge electronic warfare capabilities.
The contract, awarded by the Ministry of Defence to BAE Systems, will see further development of technology and integration work on the European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk2 radar by BAE Systems and Leonardo UK. The work is expected to lead to initial flight testing in 2024.
BAE Systems leads the overall design, development, manufacture and upgrade of the Typhoon aircraft for the UK and Leonardo is the lead for the aircraft’s main sensing and survivability systems including its radar and defensive aids sub-system.
The contract is part of the UK Government announcement made in July 2022, to invest £2.35 billion in the continued technology advancements in Typhoon capabilities, as recognition of its long-term role supporting national security and defence priorities.
Andrea Thompson, Managing Director – Europe & International at BAE Systems’ Air Sector, said: “Typhoon is a fantastic aircraft which continues to provide crucial support to defence and security operations around the world, including NATO air policing in Eastern Europe. The continued evolution of Typhoon as a world-class combat air platform ensures the RAF maintains its advantage and protects the vibrant eco-system that supports our sovereign combat air capability in the UK, through sustaining and evolving the technical skills central to the UK’s future combat air strategy.”
Mark Hamilton, Managing Director Electronics UK, Leonardo, said: “The ECRS Mk2 Radar programme will deliver world leading capabilities developed by our skilled engineers in both Edinburgh and Luton. We are extremely proud to be contributing in such a way to the safety and security of the United Kingdom as well as ensuring that the UK is equipped to play a central role in next generation combat air programmes. ECRS Mk2 will not only provide critical capability to Typhoon but will also develop and sustain critical skills relevant to the Global Combat Air Programme.”
Typhoon is a highly capable and extremely agile multi-role combat aircraft. It is capable of being deployed for the full spectrum of air operations, including air policing, peace support and high-intensity conflict. The RAF Typhoons are deployed alongside F-35B Lightning II to provide frontline capability for the UK.
The Typhoon programme supports more than 20,000 jobs across all regions of the UK every year, contributing £1.4 billion to the economy annually. The ECRS Mk2 radar programme sustains more than 600 highly-skilled jobs across the country, including more than 300 at Leonardo’s site in Edinburgh, more than 100 electronic warfare specialists at the company’s site in Luton, and 120 advanced engineers at BAE Systems’ site in Lancashire.