Northrop Grumman Corporation’s first Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) sensor was successfully installed on an E-7 Wedgetail Mk1 Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft for the UK’s Royal Air Force. Equipped with the MESA sensor the UK’s Wedgetail fleet will be strengthened with an airborne sensing capability at longer ranges, enabling critical early warning, surveillance and air battle management functionality.
«Northrop Grumman’s in-service, combat-proven MESA system already provides mission crews with advanced Airborne Moving Target Indication (MTI) capability to support NATO assurance missions against evolving threats», said Jack Hawkins, director, MESA, Northrop Grumman. «This advanced MTI will enhance UK forces’ ability to simultaneously detect, track and identify airborne and maritime adversary targets at long range, while maintaining continuous surveillance of the operational area».
Utilizing an active production line, Northrop Grumman’s MESA sensor provides warfighters with critical domain awareness in all weather conditions. With the flexibility to adapt to missions, threats and environments, this modern Airborne Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) sensor provides 360-degree situational awareness and can be optimized so operators can focus on priority missions, rapidly revisit targets, and pass relevant information to enable timely command and control decisions, and engagement of threats at long ranges.
Australia, Turkey and South Korea have fielded AEW&C systems, with production underway on the second and third systems for the UK’s E-7 Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft.