Embraer and Marsh Aviation have submitted a proposal to the Brazilian navy to produce S-2F3T/E-1T Turbo Trackers to meet the service's airborne early warning (AEW) requirement.

The "informal" proposal, made in November, covers the conversion of former US Navy E-1s rather than ex-Brazilian air force S-2s. "We'd rather use E-1s, which have wings that fold backwards as this allows us to put a decent sized radome on it," comments Arizona-based Marsh Aviation president, Ed Allen.

"We have quite a price advantage" over other alternatives being proposed such as Northrop Grumman E-2Cs, he adds. The package includes AlliedSignal TPE331-14G/R turboprops, new electric and avionics systems and a FIAR surveillance and tracking radar. Although no details of numbers have been given, the bid is believed to cover about 12 aircraft and Marsh expects a decision before mid-1999.

The fixed-wing, carrier-based AEW requirement follows the Brazilian purchase of 23 former Kuwaiti McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawks for use on its single aircraft carrier, the Minas Gerais.

The Marsh/AlliedSignal engine conversion is already operated by the Argentinian navy, which uses the S-2 in its original maritime patrol/anti-submarine warfare role. Up to six Argentinian aircraft were due to be converted to the role by Israel Aircraft Industries using kits produced by Marsh, although only four are thought to have been completed to date.

Source: Flight International