When Vixen 500E was first announced, Selex press releases stated that its architecture was scalable, & that radars with different size arrays (750 & 1000 elements were mentioned by Selex at the time, & called 750E & 1000E) could be offered, tailored to aircraft. This is not a new idea: Galileo Avionica (i.e. Selex) has done it for years with the Grifo radar, offering antennae tailored for a variety of aircraft. Other things are also tailored to the aircraft model, e.g. power output. Vixen is being offered to much the same market, & is similarly described as a family of radars. It's therefore logical to expect a wide range of radar powers & array sizes in the original design brief.
The 850E was shown at LAAD, Rio de Janeiro, in April. Photographs have been posted here. I'd not heard of it before that, but I'd speculate that it's just the right size for a particular aircrafts nose. I don't know which one, but from the pictures, one can see that the 850E array is wider than it's high - maybe F-16 retrofit? It must be the biggest market out there.
The swash-plate design has been public for a couple of years. It's proposed as an option for a CAPTOR-based AESA for Typhoon. As Selex has a majority stake in CAPTOR, it's logical to adapt it (mostly, scaling down) for Vixen. Work could have been going on since before it was announced as an option for Typhoon.
In other words, I don't think the 1000E is a hasty lash-up: it's been in the background all along, & the swash-plate version is an option that's probably been worked on for two years, maybe more. I would expect SAAB to have been offered both swash-plate & fixed array versions - after all, they're not an OTS customer: they're providing input to the final version, from their (Ericsson) in-house radar people.
Last edited by swerve; 11th June 2009 at 10:00.
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