Leonardo-Finmeccanica has signed a contract with Elbit Systems of America to supply the Vixen 500E AESA radar for the US Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) in Patuxent River, Maryland.
The contract will see USNTPS students use the E-Scan radar while training on-board the school’s C-26 aircraft.
The United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) provides instruction to experienced pilots, flight officers, and engineers in the theory, processes and techniques of aircraft and systems test and evaluation. The school’s courses include a number of live-training exercises focusing on radar, which will make use of the Vixen 500E’s intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and air-intercept modes. The radar will be delivered for installation mid-2016 and is expected to go into service in the fall.
Vixen 500E is an active electronically scanned array (AESA) system, which means it uses a matrix of miniature radar modules to steer its beam electronically, rather than having to physically point the radar at its target. This design, which benefits from Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s 60+ year heritage in radars, means that the Vixen is able to combine high performance with superior reliability and a low cost of ownership, as well as being easy to install and operate.
The contract builds on earlier sales of Vixen 500 radar technology to the United States for the Department of Homeland Security. The company has also contracted with the US Coast Guard to provide its Seaspray 7500E AESA surveillance radars for the Coast Guard’s HC-130H aircraft. The Seaspray radar acts as the aircraft’s primary sensor on front-line, long-range maritime surveillance missions.
Leonardo-Finmeccanica is Europe’s leader in fire control radar, providing the Raven ES-05 AESA radar for Saab’s Gripen E combat aircraft (which will go into service with both Sweden and Brazil) and leads the pan-European EuroRADAR consortium in the development of the Typhoon’s new Captor-E AESA radar.