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Thales delivers first AESA radar for Rafale jet

Rafale fighter.

PARIS (BNS): French firm Thales has delivered the first production RBE2 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar to Dassault Aviation for equipping on the Rafale fighter jet.

The new RBE2 radar, which will replace the existing passively scanned array RBE2 radar on board the Rafale jet, was delivered to Dassault's facility at Mérignac, France in February, Thales said on March 30.

The radar will now be installed on Rafale C137 - the first Rafale with this new capability, which is scheduled for delivery to the French defence procurement agency (DGA) this summer, the defence firm said.

A comprehensive three-month flight test programme conducted with the first production RBE2 AESA radar at the Istres air base demonstrated the qualities of the radar and confirmed the expected levels of performance prior to delivery to Dassault Aviation, it added.

According to Thales, the AESA RBE2 radar will provide the four+ generation Rafale fighter aircraft extended range for compatibility with the latest generation long range missiles and ability to detect low-signature targets.

It will also help in extended waveform agility, making it possible to acquire submetric synthetic aperture (SAR) imagery while increasing the radar's resistance to jamming.

After being equipped with the new system, Rafale will be the only European combat aircraft under full-scale production with an active-array radar, Thales said.


Rafale  Thales  Radar  

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