Thales has awarded RUAG Aviation an order worth CHF5.5million to produce a subassembly for the RBE2 radar for France’s Rafale fighter jet. The radar is the most powerful currently used in European fighter jets. The first deliveries are planned for the second half of 2011 and will initially be integrated into the Rafale for the French market, with export customers following at a later date. These will include the Swiss Air Force, should Switzerland choose the Rafale.

RUAG and Thales collaborate in various aerospace, defence and security projects. RUAG is strengthening its position at Thales’ side in the latest generation of the RBE2 radar, thus taking a decisive step in a strategic partnership based on a cooperation agreement signed between the two companies in May 2009. This partnership is founded on excellent industrial and technical performance and strong competitiveness, and will enable the RUAG Group to participate in the current and future success of the Rafale in France and in the export market.

“We are thrilled about winning the order. It is proof of our outstanding technological expertise,” stated Dr Peter Guggenbach, CEO of RUAG Aviation.

The RBE2 radar (Radar á Balayage Electronique 2 plans) developed and produced by Thales has an antenna that performs active electronic scanning in two planes. This new technology gives the Rafale a decisive advantage in terms of radar operating efficiency and reliability compared to its European competitors, which have older generation radars that employ mechanical scanning.

The highly complex wired back structures that will be supplied by RUAG link the individual radar modules together and connect the radar to the airframe. The series production order follows an initial order for developing the aforementioned structure in March 2008, which led to successful implementation and validation of three prototypes in September 2009.