Dassault Delivers First AESA Radar-Equipped European Fighter
By Graham Warwick
Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
A U.S. Air Force request for proposals for an AESA upgrade for domestic and international F-16s is expected “any day now,” Ensor says, with award of a contract expected in the third or fourth quarter of next year.
Initial operational capability of the Air Force’s Capes upgrade is planned for 2018, which will pace foreign military sales availability of an AESA for international F-16 operators. “The earliest Taiwan could get it is 2017,” Ensor believes.
Both Northrop and Raytheon plan to offer a single baseline standard of AESA radar for both U.S. F-16C/Ds and Taiwanese F-16A/Bs, as well as subsequent customers, with Singapore in initial discussions to upgrade 60 F-16C/Ds.
For Europe, meanwhile, the availably of active-array radars in the Rafale and Saab Gripen NG could prove crucial in the Brazilian competition against the AESA-equipped Boeing F/A-18E/F for a 36-aircraft order, now expected to be decided by mid-2013.