This reviews current UK airborne active electronically scanned array (AESA) designs, discusses current trends toward higher digitisation and multi-function aperture concepts, and details key future challenges that this technology faces. Specifically, we discuss applicationsto fast-jets. Key requirements are for higherlevels of digitisation to provide the performance required in ECCM, STAP, GMTI, and ESM modes. Building radar systems with the key basic building blocks to, as a minimum, enable future realisation of these advanced modes will help to "future proof'the systems. This design philosophy isintegral to the concept ofthrough life capability management (TLCM); l.e., a system designed to support the ability to sustain capability through incremental,spiral upgrades of signal processing, line replaceable items (LRIs), firmware, and advanced modes.
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