Thales announced today that its Thalesactive electronically scanned array (AESA) radar has successfully completed a new series of tests on the Rafale at the Cazaux flight test centre in Southwest France from February to March. These tests, carried out jointly by Thales and the French defence procurement agency (DGA), provided functional validation of the radar’s operating modes.
This milestone marks the latest step towards qualifying the RBE2 AESA radars this year in readiness for delivery of the first two units to Dassault Aviation during the first quarter of 010. The radars will be installed on the aircraft in 2011 for delivery to the French Air Force early in 2012. he successful tests are the latest in a long line of key milestones.
Thales began developing an AESA radar demonstrator in the 1990s and conducted exploratory tests at the flight test centre in 2002 and 2003 to refine the concept. In 2004, the French defence procurement gency DGA backed the project with a contract to develop a prototype of an operational active-module radar.