On behalf of the armed forces of Italy and Sweden, FMV, Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, has awarded Saab Microwave Systems AB, Selex Sistemi Integrati S.p.A and Elettronica S.p.A the second phase of a three-phase research and development programme supporting the development of the next generation of microwave multi-function, multi-role systems—Multi-role Active Electronically Scanned Antenna (M-AESA).

The programme will be fully financed by the two countries and the three participating companies will exploit the potential of AESA technologies in future defence electronic systems and aim to achieve the product vision of a true multi-role electronics package capable of active and passive sensing, jamming and special communications. It will not only support this vision but also contribute, in the shorter term, to the development of multifunction radar and EW systems.

The introduction of M-AESA technology, comprising digital beam forming, will greatly increase the performance of future microwave systems. Its benefits include the ability to detect, track and identify small targets in complex environments and to detect, track, identify and jam emitter and communication threats, thus providing the possibility of designing flexible multipurpose electronics in advanced platforms. The multipurpose electronics include functions from radar and electronic warfare, as well as communications.