Grifo airborne radars

The P2800 is part of a series of airborne, multimode fire control radars in development by FIAR. The radar family ranges in size and capability from the P2801 Grifetto to the Grifo-M. Most share a common antenna and steering servomechanism, use a magnetron-based transmitter, and have a common data processor core. FIAR claims that all Grifo radars have good Electronic Counter Countermeasure (ECCM) qualities because of their wide-band frequency agility and low sidelobes. The radars are built in three Line Replaceable Units (LRUs): antenna, transmitter, and receiver/processor.

The smallest radar is the P2801 Griffetto or Grifo ASV (Anti-Surface Vessel) that was proposed for the anti-ship version of the Italian-Brazilian AMX attack aircraft. The multi-modal P2801 shows its best performance in the air-to-sea modes. It can use Track-While-Scan (TWS ) against seaborne targets and single-target tracking as well as air-to-ground ranging, ground mapping, terrain avoidance, freeze, beacon, air-to-air search and track, and air combat modes. The P2801 uses a magnetron operating at a low Pulse Repetition Frequency (PRF) to drive a flat-plate, monopulse antenna. A frigate-sized ship showing a radar cross-section of 10,764 sq ft (1,000 sq m) is claimed to be detectable at ranges greater than 55 nm (63 mi; 102 km). FIAR claims that in the air-to-air mode aircraft can be detected up to 22.4 mi (36 km).

The P2803 Grifo-X is a larger system designed for light attack aircraft that shares the same system connectors with the Grifo ASV. The Grifo-X is a fully coherent, pulse-Doppler radar with the same multi-modal flexibility as the Grifo ASV , but possessing better look-up range and offering a limited look- down capability as well.

The P2800 Grifo-M is larger than the Grifo-X and uses a more elaborate multi- processor fire control system. It is designed to fit in the radar bay of a Mirage III or Mirage V interceptor-strike aircraft as an upgrade option. It is still more powerful than the Grifo-X with greater look-down range and discrimination through the use of Fast-Fourier-Transform (FFT ) Doppler- filtering techniques. Two versions are being developed: the Grifo-M for Mirage-series aircraft, using a circular flat-plate array, and the P2804 Grifo-F, a reconfigured system with an ellipitical scanner that fits in the antenna bay of a Northrop F-5E aircraft. Pakistan has ordered the Grifo-M for its Mirage III fleet, with an option for 50 more systems. Singapore has also selected the P2804 for retrofit into its F-5 fleet.

A more recent version of Grifo, the Grifo-7 designed for installation into the Chinese built F-7 (MiG-21) is now being offered. Pakistan has ordered 100 units for installation into its F-7 force. Grifo-7 radar had four major sub-assemblies--antenna, receiver, processor and transmitter - which were being produced at KARF from completely knocked-down and semi-knocked-down kits and shop and line replaceable units, he added. The radar, he said has a coherent fire control system designed to enhance the air-to-air and air-to-ground performance of F-7P aircraft. He said that the pilot production of Grifo-7 radar was now in progress and would soon be followed by serial production to equip the entire F-7 fleet .

Development and flight testing completed by FIAR SpA of Milan . Grifo ASV is installed on the Italian AMX trainer and light attack aircraft. First flight of the P2801 was in September 1989 in the nose of Piaggio-Douglas PD808 testbed. The Grifo ASV began full flight testing on a PD808 in January 1990. Grifo-7 is currently under production in Pakistan at KARF for its F-7P fighters.

According to Air Commodore Salim Akbar, Managing Director, Kamra Avionics and Radar Factory, said that his factory had successfully produced the first Grifo-7 airborne radar in October 2000 and was at present installed at an F-7P aircraft for exhaustive operational tests and trials.

KARF's 'Facility for Airborne Radar' has bright future and it would not only meet the existing F-7P requirements but would also produce airborne radar for future PAF aircraft, he added. The radar is a joint venture of an Italian firm FIAR and KARF. The production equipment used to produce Grifo-7 radar is generic in nature and can also be utilised for production of other electronics, avionics related systems, Commodore Salim Akbar replied to a questioner. Lovenzo Fiori, Chief of FIAR Radar Programme, said that during 1990s, his company started to develop its own radar, which was now a family of Grifo radar. The co-production of the Gripo-7 in Pakistan was not only a remarkable success for PAF and KARF but also a matter of pride for FIAR, he added.

FIAR SpA, Milan, Italy


AMX (Grifo ASV)
Mirage III (Grifo-M)
F-7 Airguard (Grifo 7)
F-5E Tiger (Grifo-F)


		P2800          198 lb (90 kg)
		P2801          121 lb (55 kg)
		P2803          154 lb (70 kg)
		I/J band
Peak Power
		P2801          100kW
		ship with 10,764 sq ft (1,000 sq m) radar cross-section in
adverse weather conditions
		P2800        60 nm (69 mi; 111 km)
		P2801        55 nm (63 mi; 102 km)
		P2800          198 lb (90 kg)
		P2801        20 nm (23 mi; 37 km)
		P2803        25 nm (29 mi; 46 km)
		P2800        17-20 nm (20-23 mi; 32-37 km)
		P2803        15 nm (17 mi; 28 km)