Current work between the UK and Japan includes studies of Japan’s Joint New Air-to-Air Missile (JNAAM), a derivative of the MBDA Meteor equipped with a Japanese active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radio-frequency (RF) seeker. More recently, Rolls-Royce and IHI Corp. have begun working on a joint future fighter engine demonstrator, which will build on IHI’s work on its advanced XF9-1 experimental powerplant and Rolls-Royce’s work on the XG240, the power system destined for the Tempest (AW&ST Feb. 7-20, p. 30).
Shortly after the announcement of the engine program, it was revealed that Leonardo UK will work with Japanese industry on the Jaguar, an advanced multifunction AESA radar program that builds on radar expertise developed in each country.
Work on the Jaguar predates the creation of Team Tempest, says Andrew Howard, Leonardo’s director for major air programs and the senior responsible officer for the company’s contribution to the Tempest program.
Details of the advanced features in the Jaguar are undisclosed, but Howard says the sensor represents a “significant development on current capability,” even exceeding capabilities for the Tempest’s Multi-Function Radio-Frequency System (MRFS), the Tempest’s UK-developed future radar. The MRFS was going to be an “iterative development” of the European Common Radar System Mk. 2 sensor being developed for the UK’s Eurofighter Typhoon, but it was intended to use more miniaturization and deliver increased power.
It also would have been the primary sensor in what Leonardo calls the Integrated Sensing and Non-Kinetic Effect (Isanke) system that will fuse and process the input from the Tempest’s sensors. Work on the Jaguar complements MRFS developments and in some areas “goes beyond what MRFS would have been capable of,” Howard says.
“What Jaguar represents is the first big building block of an FCAS/Tempest/F-X international radar program,” he adds (AW&ST Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2020, p. 46).
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