The new generation of electronically scanned (E-Scan) radar systems has moved from lab tests to field trials following the first successful airborne operational test of Euroradar’s Captor Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar (CAESAR) fighter radar system, which took place over Wiltshire in the UK. This system is an E-Scan radar demonstrator developed and funded by the Euroradar consortium consisting of several key industry partners—SELEX Sensors & Airborne Systems (S&AS), EADS Defence Electronics of Germany, Galileo Avionica of Italy and INDRA of Spain.

CAESAR has been specifically developed to fit in the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft and builds upon the proven Captor mechanically scanned radar and will introduce Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology. This will enable E-Scan capability to be fully exploited by the existing Captor radar, while retaining all features and capabilities of the original system.

An international team of engineers has worked on the system to bring it to full functionality for its first test flight. During the three-hour flight the radar successfully engaged air targets and demonstrated operational and performance advantages unique to E-Scan fighter radar technology. Further flight trials are scheduled for the latter half of 2006 and these will demonstrate even more advanced air-to-air and air-to-ground performance enhancements.

Having successfully proven the technology, Euroradar is ready to further develop the CAESAR upgrade package so that it can be adopted for production, a point emphasized by its board of directors chairman, Andrew Cowdery, who said: "This is an exciting stage in the program. CAESAR is right at the forefront of turning this new technology into operational and proven capability."