May 21, 2022

Edinburgh aerospace engineering company Leonardo’s experts are working with RAF to drive innovation, which is already reducing the carbon footprint of typhoon radar.

Currently being developed by Leonardo on its sites in Edinburgh and Luton, with integration work through BAE Systems in Wharton, the Typhoon’s new ECRS Mk2 will be the world’s most capable fighter radar when in service.

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But in addition to offering a step change in capabilities, Leonardo is also developing radar to enhance efficiency in capability development and support using new digital engineering techniques. This also means that fewer test flights will be required before the radar will enter service and therefore lower carbon emissions during the development program.

Leonardo’s Ross Wilson has green ambitions.

Ross Wilson, head of engineering at Leonardo in Edinburgh, said: “The increasing use of digital techniques and data-driven technologies has led to a reduction in physical testing, a reduction in test flights, a reduction in re-use and a reduction in equipment seats. All reduce carbon footprint. Development programs. “

The new tools and technologies Leonardo is using to develop radar include digital twining and model-based engineering.

“When it goes into service, the ECRS Mk2 will also be able to use what we call mission loadable elements, which are data and applications that can be quickly uploaded to the radar. The idea is that we want to make upgrading a radar a lot less complicated than before and like downloading an app to your smartphone. They can be used to upgrade the system in the field during operation We can test these elements first using advanced digital modeling, reducing the need for re-test flights and minimizing emissions.

The latest radar wizardry will have a low carbon footprint.

Leonardo is committed to eliminating pure zero carbon from his operations in the UK by 2030 and published his first carbon reduction plan last September. Ross believes the ‘Digital First’ approach to design is a key part of the project, and that a similar approach would also reduce the carbon footprint of next-generation fighter jet technologies currently in the UK. Future combat air systems are being designed for the Tempest.

Leonardo, BAE Systems and members of the RAF team are also working together for advanced expertise in the digital domain, with some RAF personnel working on site at Edinburgh’s rooftop lab, and accelerating the adoption of new techniques. ۔

Andy Flynn, Typhoon Capability Delivery Director, BAE Systems – Air said: “To ensure the safety and quality of Typhoon’s latest new radar-like products, flight testing will always be required – however, we challenge this approach. We will continue to do so as we work to ensure that we minimize the impact on our environment. “

Testing of RAF’s new radar in Leonardo’s labs.

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