Leonardo has won a contract to upgrade old radars of Beechcraft King Air aircraft operated by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) with the latest Osprey 30 E-scan radars.
“Aviation services company 2Excel, which supplies customized Beechcraft King Air aircraft to the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), has contracted with Leonardo to upgrade the aircraft with advanced new Osprey 30 E-scan radars,” the company said in a release Wednesday.
The MCA currently operates Leonardo’s Seaspray 7300E E-scan radar.
The Osprey 30 radar will be installed on-board two customised Beechcraft planes. The new radars will be used to support missions such as search and rescue, border protection, fishery and pollution patrols.
The E-scan (or AESA) radar uses a matrix of hundreds of tiny radar modules to ‘steer’ an electronic beam, rather than mechanically moving the radar to point at a target. Crews can lift off, scan in 360 degrees and almost-instantaneously detect, track and classify hundreds of maritime contacts, allowing crews to quickly task cooperating aircraft to deeply search an area of interest. Other E-scan advantages include extremely high reliability, as the radar can continue to operate effectively throughout a mission even if a number of its individual radar modules fail.