Graham Warwick/ATLANTA

WESTINGHOUSE Norden Systems has accused Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) of unfair competition, after the Israeli company switched radar suppliers for the Turkish McDonnell Douglas F-4 upgrade programme, from Norden to its own subsidiary, Elta.

Westinghouse alleges that IAI misled the Turkish air force as to the price and performance of its APG-76 radar, which is part of the Israeli air force Phantom 2000 F-4 upgrade on which IAI based its Turkish bid.

IAI has substituted a variant of Elta's EL/M-2032 radar, claiming that its $3 million price-tag enabled the company to stay within Turkey's $600 million budget to upgrade 60 F-4s. Westinghouse says that the $5 million cost provided by IAI to Turkey for the APG-76 was "one-third to 35% higher" than that quoted by Norden to IAI.

The Israeli company responded, saying that the Elta radar has been demonstrated "very clearly". Turkey acquired the radar after it was convinced that the EL/M-2032 was the most cost-effective solution.

The APG-76 was developed for Israel to provide high-resolution synthetic-aperture-radar (SAR) ground mapping and simultaneous ground moving-target indication. The EL/M-2032 is a multi-mode radar being installed by IAI in upgraded Mikoyan MiG-21s and Northrop F-5s.

Dick Anderson, APG-76 marketing manager, says that Elta has promised that its radar will "...exceed the capability of the APG-76", but has told Turkey that the US radar provides an SAR resolution of 6m (20ft), when it is achieving better than 3m resolution in Israeli service and has demonstrated 0.28m resolution in flight tests.

Anderson says that IAI also told Turkey that the required financing was not available for the US radar, whereas Norden had secured financing and full permission to export the hardware and software, including source code, enabling Turkey to maintain the radar in-country. "There were no technology-transfer restrictions," he says.

For three years, Anderson says, Norden acted as prime contractor for IAI's Turkish bid, but the Israeli company refused to renew the teaming agreement when it expired in March after it became clear that Turkey would allow IAI to bid direct. At that point the bid was changed from multi-national to all Israeli, he says.

Westinghouse has not given up and is working on a strategy with the US Government, Anderson says, alleging "...unfair trade practices employed by the Turks and the Israelis". He is not confident that the radar selection can be overturned, without resulting, the F-4 upgrade being cancelled.

Elta demonstrated an air-to-ground capability to Turkey using a Boeing 707 testbed. It has six months to demonstrate a full up radar demonstrating the required performance.

Source: Flight International