A multi-million Euro contract has been awarded to Finmeccanica - Selex ES by defence and security company Saab to supply the Raven ES-05 AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar for Saab's Gripen Next Generation (NG) fighters.
A NATO-interoperable, multi-role fighter designed for the future network-centric warfare environment, Gripen NG will provide superior situation awareness thanks to a number of Finmeccanica – Selex ES products. In addition to the Raven ES AESA radar, the company will also provide the Skyward-G IRST (Infrared Search & Track) passive sensor and IFF (Identification Friend-or-Foe) system, both of which will be contracted for in the next few months.
Finmeccanica - Selex ES's participation in the Gripen NG programme dates back to 2009, when an agreement was signed with Saab for the development of the Raven ES AESA radar. This was followed in 2010 by the selection of the Skyward-G IRST sensor and the IFF system.
A production-standard Raven AESA radar is now installed on Gripen demonstration aircraft, while flight tests with the Skyward G IRST have been underway since March, achieving excellent results and demonstrating the value of a passive sensor as an integral part of a weapons system. The IFF system will be delivered later in the year.
In a recent development, Finmeccanica – Selex ES's new BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy (EAD) has been chosen as an electronic warfare option for the Gripen NG and all other versions of the aircraft. Currently, the BriteCloud EAD is the only product of its type on the market and Saab will be the first partner to offer the new decoy, boosting the desirability of Gripen NG for new customers. Live BriteCloud trials on-board the platform are expected to take place by the end of 2014.
Currently, Gripen C/D versions are in service in Sweden, South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic and Thailand. Gripen NG is in full scale development for Sweden and has been down-selected and in final negotiations for Brazil.
The capability and price of Gripen NG makes it a highly attractive proposition and there is growing interest world-wide. With retrofit opportunities on the Gripen C/D and new Gripen NG purchases, Finmeccanica – Selex ES expects to provide up to 200 sets of sensor equipment over the next 10 – 15 years.