RWR Overhaul

Saab is overhauling the radar warning receivers equipping the Luftwaffe’s Tornado-IDS/ECT jets.

Saab is overhauling the radar warning receivers of the Luftwaffe’s Tornado combat aircraft.

The company was awarded a contract in late May worth $48 million. According to a Saab press release, the work sees digital components installed in the aircraft’s existing Radar Warning Receivers (RWR). The upgrade will be performed in Germany and Sweden. Armada records indicate that the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) flies 85 Tornado-IDS fighters and Tornado-ECR air defence suppression aircraft. The RWR upgrade will be rolled out across all these aircraft.

A statement supplied to Armada by Saab says that the upgrade is “an obsolescence programme with future growth potential.” This should help the aircraft detect current and emerging radar threats until their expected 2025 retirement.


The Tornado RWR forms part of the aircraft’s defensive aids subsystem. The RWR has dual receivers placed forward and aft of the aircraft, and on the ventral fuselage. These are linked to a receiver interface unit, two receiver processors and a low band antenna array. The modernisation of the RWR forms part of a larger effort overhauling Tornado-IDS/ECR self-protection. In 2017 the Luftwaffe selected Saab to supply its BOZ-101EC self-protection system.

The BOZ-101EC is an enhanced version of the BOZ-101. It is a wing-mounted pod comprising the company’s MAW-300 missile approach warning system. The MAW-300 is linked to an integral countermeasure dispenser which can launch flares. A cockpit interface lets the crew control the BOZ-101EC. The BOZ-101EC was selected to equip both Tornado-IDS/ECR jets. A second variant of, the BOZ-102EC, was supplied to the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force). Likewise, this equips the force’s Tornado-IDS/ECR aircraft.

by Dr. Thomas Withington