Euroradar CAPTOR
The Euroradar CAPTOR is a next generation mechanical multi-mode pulse doppler
Doppler effect
The Doppler effect , named after Austrian physicist Christian Doppler who proposed it in 1842 in Prague, is the change in frequency of a wave for an observer moving relative to the source of the wave. It is commonly heard when a vehicle sounding a siren or horn approaches, passes, and recedes from...

Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 designed for the Eurofighter Typhoon
Eurofighter Typhoon
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole combat aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of three companies: EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems; working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986...


The radar is produced by the Euroradar consortium and is a development of the BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 Blue Vixen radar which had been developed for the BAE Sea Harrier
BAE Sea Harrier
The British Aerospace Sea Harrier is a naval VTOL/STOVL jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft, a development of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier. It first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS1 and became informally known as the "Shar"...

. Euroradar is led by the lead stakeholder SELEX Galileo
SELEX Galileo
SELEX Galileo is a major defence electronics company that specialises in surveillance, protection, tracking, targeting, navigation and control, and imaging systems. It is owned by the Italian company Finmeccanica....

 in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 (formerly BAE Systems Avionics
BAE Systems Avionics
BAE Systems Avionics was the avionics unit of BAE Systems until 2005, at which time it was transferred to SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems S.p.A and was renamed SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems Limited...

) and the consortium includes EADS
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. is a global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide...

 and Indra. The ECR-90 was renamed CAPTOR as the project passed the production contract milestone.


The selection of the radar had become a major stumbling block in the EFA project (as the Eurofighter Typhoon was known as the time). Britain, Italy and Spain supported the Ferranti
Ferranti or Ferranti International plc was a UK electrical engineering and equipment firm that operated for over a century from 1885 until it went bankrupt in 1993. Known primarily for defence electronics, the Company was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but ceased trading in 1993.The...

-led ECR-90, while West Germany preferred the APG-65 based MSD2000 which was a collaboration between Hughes
Hughes Aircraft
Hughes Aircraft Company was a major American aerospace and defense contractor founded in 1932 by Howard Hughes in Culver City, California as a division of Hughes Tool Company...

Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft was a German producer of electrical equipment founded in 1883 by Emil Rathenau....

 and GEC. An agreement was reached after the British Defence Secretary
Secretary of State for Defence
The Secretary of State for Defence, popularly known as the Defence Secretary, is the senior Government of the United Kingdom minister in charge of the Ministry of Defence, chairing the Defence Council. It is a Cabinet position...

 Tom King
Tom King, Baron King of Bridgwater
Thomas Jeremy King, Baron King of Bridgwater, CH, PC , is a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet from 1983–92, and was the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Bridgwater in Somerset from 1970-2001...

 assured his West German counterpart Gerhard Stoltenberg
Gerhard Stoltenberg
Gerhard Stoltenberg was a German politician and minister in the cabinets of Ludwig Erhard, Kurt Georg Kiesinger and Helmut Kohl. He served as minister-president of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein from 1971 to 1982 and as such as President of the Bundesrat in 1977/78.-Life:Stoltenberg was...

 that the British government would underwrite the project and allow GEC to acquire Ferranti Defence Systems from its troubled parent. Hughes sued GEC for $600 million for its role in the selection of the EFA and alleged that it used Hughes technology in the ECR-90 when it took over Ferranti. It later dropped this allegation and was awarded $23 million, the court judged that the MSD-2000 "had a real or substantial chance of succeeding had GEC not tortuously intervened... and had the companies, which were bound by the Collaboration Agreement, faithfully and diligently performed their continuing obligations thereunder to press and promote the case for MSD-2000."

Each of the seven Eurofighter Development Aircraft (DA) have specific responsibilities in the test programme, Germany's DA5 and the UK's DA4 were involved in radar trials. A BAC 1-11 jet was also used for radar trials, the nose of the aircraft fitted with a Eurofighter radome.

The CAPTOR was designed for use with "Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile"s (BVRAAM) and the Eurofighter will be fitted with the MBDA Meteor
MBDA Meteor
Meteor is an active radar guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile being developed by MBDA. It is to equip the Eurofighter Typhoons of the UK's Royal Air Force , Germany's Luftwaffe, Spain's Ejército del Aire and Italy's Aeronautica Militare Italiana, the British and Italian F-35s , the...

. Since the end of the Cold War the Eurofighter's mission has also moved from a primarily air-defence fighter with secondary ground-attack to a multirole aircraft. As such the radar's ground attack capabilities have been improved.

The CAPTOR radar, entering service now with the Eurofighter partner nations, will see action for at least two decades. However, work is already under way on its replacement. The Airborne Multirole Solid State Active Array Radar
The Airborne Multirole Solid State Active Array Radar , is an Active Electronically Scanned Array .The project is a European collaborative project and is under development by the British/French/German GTDAR consortium...

 (AMSAR) another European collaborative project, is produced by the British/French/German GTDAR consortium. This organisation, originally ("GEC-Thomson-DASA Airborne Radar") is now made up of SELEX
SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems
SELEX Galileo is a major defence electronics company that specialises in surveillance, protection, tracking, targeting, navigation and control, and imaging systems. It is owned by the Italian company Finmeccanica....

The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. is a global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide...

 and Thales
Thales Group
The Thales Group is a French electronics company delivering information systems and services for the aerospace, defense, transportation and security markets...

. It is possible the radar will be ready for the Tranche 3 Typhoons or, failing that, may be incorporated in a future mid life update (MLU.)

AESA Variant

In May 2007, Eurofighter Development Aircraft 5 made the first flight with the a prototype of the CAPTOR-E Active Electronically Scanned Array
Active Electronically Scanned Array
An Active Electronically Scanned Array , also known as active phased array radar is a type of phased array radar whose transmitter and receiver functions are composed of numerous small solid-state transmit/receive modules . AESAs aim their "beam" by broadcasting radio energy that interfere...

 radar known as CAESAR (from CAPTOR Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar). The CAPTOR-E is based on the CAPTOR radar currently in service on Eurofighter production aircraft. The new generation of radar is intended to replace the mechanically steered antennas and high-power transmitters used on current Eurofighter aircraft with an electronically steered array This enables new mission capabilities for combat aircraft such as simultaneous radar functionalities, air surveillance, air-to-ground and weapon control. The new radar improves the effective air-to-air missile
Air-to-air missile
An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

range of the aircraft and allows for faster and more accurate detection and tracking of multiple aircraft with lower life cycle costs. In July 2010, it was reported that the Euroradar consortium made a formal offer to provide an AESA solution for the Eurofighter. The consortium plans to retain as much "back-end" equipment as possible while developing the new radar and also stated that the inclusion of an AESA radar was an important in securing orders from foreign nations.

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