Monday, June 13, 2011

Thales RBE-2 AESA mystery

The mystery surrounding the RBE-2 AESA number of modules is thickening since this new picture of the radar was published in the last issue of Air & Cosmos. The photo shows what seems to be the actual trial radar next to the Mirage 2000 B501 which serves as a test bench for the RBE-2 AESA.

For about a year, several official pictures of this radar have been published showing an antenna with less than 850 modules whereas Thales advertises more than 1000 modules. Interrestingly, the antenna presented on this new picture has been blurried to prevent any counting.

Mirage 2000 B501 - ©JL GuĂ©rin

2 Flying test benchs are used by the CEV (French flight test center) for the AESA antenna trials : The Mirage 2000 B501 and the Mystere-XX 104. Both are fitted with a Rafale radome and speciphic avionics.

As reported by Air & Cosmos the final qualification of the new AESA radar is espected in August- early september (about 20 validation flights remaining).

Also read : Thales aesa RBE-2 modules pattern
Myster-XX 104 - © DR

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