ACCESS: Confidential
May 23, 2020
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Well I probably wouldn't mention Captor as a plus point. :) It's embarrassing frankly that a AESA still, still hasn't been fielded. Soon hopefully.
Yeah but what I said was "at the time", which is well prior to AESA deployment.
In fact back in the early 90's, only the Mig31 using a PESA was in service. Let alone when the real decisions where being taken in the 1980's.
Well believe it or not RBE2 and J/apg-1 are actually older then CAPTOR. Now Captor has much more range then either. Has RBE2 is supposedly a bit outraged by the Radar on the mirage-20005 and the J/apg-1 is somewhere between apg-66 and 68, but neither of these were built as air superiority fighters. The RBE2 was to consolidate the various radars on the different mirage aircraft into a single unit while the J/apg-1 was built for sea search. RBE2 was started in 1989 and first flew on an actual Rafale in 1993, that same year ECR-90A first flew on a BAC1-11 and I don’t think ECR-90c flew on a DA aircraft till 97-98ish. The engineering model of the J/apg-1 “Future fire control system” first flew on a test aircraft in late 1986, early 1987 and the final model flew on a test aircraft in 1991. Notably the French Navy’s Super Entendard had a PESA starting in 1994 (Anemone) which might have been used in modified form from a French hornet 2000 if the Rafale fell through.

Now of course MSA was much better known and the British especially had an excellent radar industry, it wasn’t a wrong choice to stick with MSA. However the Eurofighter didn’t enter service in 1996, it entered service in 2003 in extremely basic form, and wasn’t really a multi role radar till 2008 when much more powerful AESA arrays were becoming wide spreed. I think much more thought should have been put into aesa upgrade for the early 2010s.

red admiral

ACCESS: Top Secret
Sep 16, 2006
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No I don't see the RAF being overruled. Heseltine jumped on what was I think ACA at the time, but it was firmly rooted in requirements. Which is why it has survived to service.

The private RAF views of the time are much more that it wasn't the plane they wanted and was basically forced from politics. But then you try to make the best you can.

Early 80s definitely more RAF focus on WVR due to crowded and heavily jammed skies over Germany for WW3 nullifying BVR. Then late 80s all about stealth and STOVL...