The PIRATE, short for Passive Infra Red Airborne Tracking Equipment, multi mode Infrared Sensor, has been
developed and manufactured by the Eurofirst consortium. The consortium is led by SELEX Galileo, contract award since
1992, from Italy, and includes THALES UK, and TECNOBIT from Spain.
At the end of the development phase, a three years flight test campaign has started in 2005, and has been carried out
involving Eurofighter partner companies, as flight trials responsible, like ALENIA in Turin (FLIR flight testing leading
company), BAE SYSTEM in Warton, and EADS in Manching, highlighting the functionality and the performance of the
unit, when operating in real scenarios, with cooperative target and TOO (target of opportunity), across different weather
conditions, like clean sky, but also misty and cloudy weather, haze and hail, generally not ideal to the infrared
wavelength operation, either during tracking or imaging.