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Eurofighter Typhoon


CLEARANCE: Restricted
Feb 4, 2009
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CLEARANCE: Restricted
Mar 6, 2020
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There's more on Radar Two at:
View: https://www.facebook.com/aerospaceanalysis/posts/1550084768531009?__tn__=K-R
When you read through the Facebook content you realize ECRS mk 2 has more to do with Raven-05 (Vixen 1000 outside the Gripen) than the Captor heritage. Captor was developed in the 1990ies when AD technology forced the A to D rather far back in the receiver/exciter chain (several IFs down). Raven was developed over the last 10 years and is well-described technology-wise in Stimson's Intro to Airborne Radar. Most examples of modern design radars with AD and DA close to the antenna is from Selex's (now Leonardo's) work with the Raven in Edinburgh.
It all builds on high dynamic range ADs that have bitrates of several GHz. This gives many advantages and ECRS is therefore wisely a further developed Raven rather than bogged down by 25-year-old design decisions from Captor. One example is the antenna. Rather than keeping the double swashplate to keep the integrated IFF polarization vertical, ECRS goes the Raven way with one rotation join (the polarization follows the rotation) and puts IFF separate like the Gripen (a Leonardo phased array design with >200° coverage like the radar/EW).

Gives much higher flexibility with nulling of the antenna vs jammers by both AESA nulling but also polarization mismatch and it's necessary for the ESM and Jammer modes (you can't have a one polarisation EW system). Once you put the ADs closer to the antenna you need a completely redone system downstream because of higher bitrates and compute needs. All angle, puls coding, doppler, and range gate processing is now digital. Same with the exciter (radar modes) and techniques generator (EW modes) going out with D to A just before the TRMs.

Only when you are down to metadata, hits/tracks, etc, and the reception of commands can you interface the legacy tactical computer of the Typhoon.

Regarding the hybrid GaS/GaN TRMs, I would venture GaS output power amps still, mainly for cost reasons, paired with GaN switching out/in (you don't want a circulator in a wideband MFA) followed by limiter free GaN first stage amp setting the NF (you gain the limiter losses in NF in addition to the low NF of GaN amps). You gain more in NF for the receive chain than what a few dBm on the output side buys you. Modern radars are about range through high AESA gain = narrow lobes and low sidelobes and sensitive receive chains, rather than screaming you are there with high output power. It's all about LPI (Low Probability of Intercept) radar modes = throttling your output power down as far as possible sending very long, low peak power, coded pulses.
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