The competition for the Greek air force McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom upgrade is heating up, with Daim- ler-Benz Aerospace (DASA) revising its bid after Rockwell Inter- national offered a package believed to be 35% cheaper than that of its German rival.

Sources close to the programme confirm that the Rockwell bid, submitted with the initial offers in April, "substantially" undercuts DASA's. Until then, the German company had been confident of winning, based on its experience with the improved-combat-effectiveness (ICE) upgrade for Germany's F-4F fleet.

DASA has now submitted its final offer at a revised price, and hopes for a decision soon after the end of the Greek parliamentary summer recess in September. Greece plans to upgrade about 40 aircraft. The air force has 48 F-4Es, with 28 more being delivered, and seven RF-4Es, with 18 more on order.

A third bid, from Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), was hamstrung by Greek reluctance to select a firm involved in a similar upgrade for Turkey. IAI is upgrading 54 aircraft for the Turkish air force. It is understood that DASA is offering a package similar to the F-4F ICE, but with improved display capabilities, including a GEC-Marconi head-up display.

The ICE provides the ability to carry the Hughes AIM-120 air-to-missile, and includes a multi-mode Hughes APG-65 radar licence-built by DASA, a GEC-Marconi CPU-143/A digital air-data computer and a 1553B databus.

Source: Flight International