Finmeccanica – Selex ES has signed a contract with defence and security company Saab for 60 Skyward-G infra-red search and track (IRST) systems. The systems will be installed on the Gripen E fighter aircraft for the Swedish Air Force.
The Skyward-G IRST is a long-range electro-optical sensor. It is a passive system that does not emit any signals of its own when in use. It detects the heat signatures of other airborne systems but cannot be detected in return. This provides a great tactical advantage. With the IRST a Gripen can detect and track enemy targets, including aircraft, naval vessels and ground vehicles. The system also has a significant ‘counter-stealth’ capability and, when used alone or in conjunction with Gripen’s other sensors, it can produce high-fidelity tracking information against complex targets over long ranges (well beyond visual range).
The Skyward-G is manufactured at Selex ES’s Nerviano (Milan) site in Italy.
Selex ES is a major participant in the Gripen E programme, delivering 30% of the fighter’s electronics. In addition to the Skyward-G, Finmeccanica – Selex ES also provides the fighter aircraft with its radar and Mode 5 Identification Friend/Foe (IFF) systems. In July, the company signed a production contract for the Raven ES-05 AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar. Saab has also recently chosen Selex ES’s new BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy (EAD) as an electronic warfare option for the Gripen E. Currently, the BriteCloud EAD is the only product of its type on the market and Saab is the first partner to offer the new decoy.