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Why are there no "sideways-looking" radars on fighter aircraft? (Answer found)


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So even with fighter aircraft with wide scan zones like modern 3rd gens and later, the gimbal limits on the radar system isn't 90 degrees or more. 

 

I wonder why there seemingly no effort to develop fighter radar systems capable of 90+ degrees of travel. I feel like it would give impressive BVR SA to pilots as fox 3s get deadlier and longer ranged. Going into the notch in order to defeat enemy fox 3s causes you to lose radar SA with current systems, which gives the enemy opportunities to either disengage, close in, or defend unnoticed. I thought it would be advantageous to have a radar that can still look at the enemy while in the notch, and it would certainly give you a one up on fighters that cannot when they themselves are notching. 

 

I guess AWACS and trained controllers could do a perfectly good job, but I would think that if enemy jamming or electronic or cyberwarefare were to prevent proper datalink and communication between the units, this technology could be a decent counter. 

 

Am I missing something or is it something a bit more boring, like increased cost, upkeep and maintenance? Have they ever tried to make a radar system capable of 90+ degrees of travel?

 

 

Edit: DId a little googling and it does seem like the SU57 currently has side looking AESA radar and the F22 might have them in the future? I wonder why it took so long? I guess AESA radars were the technological breakthrough needed to make side-looking radars practical?


Edited by WelshZeCorgi
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  • WelshZeCorgi changed the title to Why are there no "sideways-looking" radars on fighter aircraft? (Answer found)

The Gripen does this, has a rotating AESA radar that can look more than 90 degrees to either side so you can actually maintain a lock (or SA) on targets behind the aircraft by some degrees.

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6 hours ago, kengou said:

The Gripen does this, has a rotating AESA radar that can look more than 90 degrees to either side so you can actually maintain a lock (or SA) on targets behind the aircraft by some degrees.

 

The coming Gripen E 😉

 

This is also a feature advertised for some times about advanced Flanker variants like Su-35:
 

 

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Datalinks makes this less necessary. Modern fighters can support their missiles using another plane's radar, which saves them from carrying the weight/complexity of a rotating radar system.

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