Andrzej Jeziorski/MUNICH

Daimler-Benz Aerospace (Dasa) appears to be poised to win a contract to upgrade the avionics in 39 Greek McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom IIs, according to the arms directorate of the Greek air force.

The air-force evaluation committee has selected Dasa's offer in preference to a rival bid from Boeing - formerly Rockwell - and the decision now has to be cleared by the Greek Government before a contract is signed, says Col Dimitris Heliotis, director of defence planning at the arms directorate. A Government decision is expected by the beginning of August, and the signing of a contract with Dasa should follow immediately after.

At the same time, a contract is to be awarded to Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) to carry out a structural-life-extension programme on 70 aircraft, which should allow Greece to keep its Phantoms flying beyond 2015.

The avionics upgrade is to be completed by the end of 2000, while the structural-upgrade programme could extend into the next decade, says Heliotis.

He adds that Dasa's proposal was chosen on financial, technical and offset grounds. Earlier this year, Dasa was forced to submit a revised proposal based on close co-operation with Elbit of Israel, after Rockwell undercut the initial German bid by 35% and both offers were declared unsatisfactory by Greece. Dasa cut the price of the second bid by one-third.

The work will be based on the German air force F-4F Improved Combat Effectiveness upgrade, with enhanced display capabilities. This update includes the Hughes APG-65 radar, licence-built by Dasa, which allows the aircraft to carry advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles.

Elbit has been brought in as a subcontractor supplying displays and the mission computer, offering a completely new cockpit suite with colour, cathode-ray-tube, multi-function displays. Dasa remains the prime contractor, with overall systems integration and software development responsibility.

Source: Flight International