The Greek air force has shortlisted the contenders for its airborne early warning (AEW) requirement to Ericsson Microwave Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

Initial screening of respondents to the Greek request for information has pitted Ericsson's Erieye airborne early warning and control system, mounted on an Embraer RJ-145 twinjet, against Northrop Grumman's APS-145 radar system, mounted on a Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules, and the same radar mounted on a Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye 2000.

The Swedish company has teamed up with Thomson-CSF on its bid, with Thomson contributing its DR3000 ESM passive detection system, integrated self- protection systems, secure radio and datalinks and identification friend-or-foe transponders. The Erieye system is based on a dorsally mounted phased-array radar. As part of its offset package, Ericsson has established a Greek telecommunications and defence subsidiary called Ericsson Hellas,

Lockheed Martin says its radar is a proven system on current Hawkeyes, at medium cost, and that the C-130J platform offers six onboard workstations with possible expansion to nine. The C-130J can patrol for 14h continuously, and the Greek air force has the option of fitting the aircraft with refuelling probes.

The Hawkeye 2000 is planned for service entry in 2001. It has three upgraded onboard workstations and, according to Northrop Grumman, offers "significant enhancements in data management, system throughput, operator interfaces, connectivity and situational awareness".

The system features a new central mission computer, with less weight and volume than in earlier Hawkeyes, and allowing the installation of new onboard systems.

It will have a fully integrated satellite communications capability, and a new co-operative engagement capability system, improved fleet-wide communications and data exchange.

Source: Flight International