Swedish defence company Saab has announced that it has successfully completed the first air trials with its new fighter X-band Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, which will be offered as a new addition to Saab’s PS-05/A radar family.

Photo: Saab

The trials involved a Gripen D aircraft fitted with the new radar, and involved collecting data while the radar was detecting and tracking objects.

The new AESA radar features Gallium Nitrite, a material which Saab says offers lower power consumption and improved heat resistance and enables wider bandwidth and greater reliability, availability and efficiency.

It adds that the new fighter X-band AESA radar will, for example, have better performance against small targets, enhanced Electronic Counter-Countermeasures (ECCM) capability as well as improved ability to support more advanced weaponry.

The radar is designed for fighter aircraft and can be adapted to a variety of platforms. Saab has announced in October 2018 a version of the new AESA antenna has been sold to an unidentified “U.S. Government customer”.

“This is an important step in the development of our new fighter AESA radar. We see great possibilities for the radar, and its modular, adaptable and scalable design means it can also be used for a range of other applications”, says Anders Carp, SVP and head of Saab’s business area Surveillance.

The new version of the radar can be offered to Gripen C/D operators, as an upgrade. It has been reported that Saab can upgrade a Gripen with the new AESA in 12-18 months, and is not governed by United States’ International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The Gripen is currently operated by Sweden as well as South Africa, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Thailand.

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