Northrop Grumman has signed a contract worth $160 million with Boeing to deliver four Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar systems for Turkey’s ‘Peace Eagle’ 737 airborne early warning and control program.
Delivery of the four MESA systems is scheduled to begin in August 2005 and conclude in June 2007. Boeing is slated to deliver the first fully integrated aircraft to Turkey in July 2007, with the fourth delivery scheduled for June 2008.
Designed under contract to Boeing for the launch customer, the Australian Defence Force’s Project Wedgetail, the multiband MESA radar is integrated into a modified 737-700 aircraft.
Mounted on the top aft section of the fuselage, the antenna enables a 360-degree azimuth scan with no mechanical rotation. It is said to provide multiple surveillance applications, using pulse Doppler radar forms for aerial search and pulse forms for maritime surface searches, as well as an integrated identification friend-or-foe capability that uses the same aperture.
The MESA antenna consists of an advanced composite structure that supports side-emitting electronic manifold arrays and a ‘top hat’ end-firing array. Its ultra-light foam sandwich construction enables performance at a fraction of current system weights, allowing additional time on station for the aircraft.
The first MESA antenna for Project Wedgetail was rolled out in October 2002 at Northrop Grumman’s Baltimore facility and installed on the company’s test range for integration and pattern testing. It will be delivered to the Boeing military flight centre in Seattle in September 2003 for integration with the airframe.