February 13, 2009 The Saab Airborne Early Warning and Control radar Erieye was officially introduced into operational service by the Hellenic Air Force today.
The ceremony, including a fly-by formation, was held at the 112 Combat Wing at the Elefsis Air Forces Base.
In 1999 Saab Microwave Systems (at that time Ericsson Microwave Systems) signed a contract with the Hellenic Armed Forces to provide four Erieye AEW&C systems with Embraer 145 aircraft as platform. The fully NATO interoperable Erieye AEW&C systems for the Hellenic Armed Forces (HAF) provide situation awareness of borders and economic zones over both land and sea. Among the comprehensive on-board systems, including data links, is an active phased array radar for long range accurate target information in large air volumes.
“This is a new and advanced system concept but built on proven subsystems from the main suppliers Embraer, Thales and Saab but it also includes co-operation with Hellenic defence industry as e. g. ISI Hellas and Intracom”, says Kenth Börjesson, Sales Director Southern Europe at Saab.
A spirit of co-operation
Formally accepting the aircraft on behalf of the Hellenic Air Forces was Lt Gen Ioannis Giagkos, Chief of the Hellenic Air Forces General Staff, at the ceremony together with Gen Dimitrios Grapsas, Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff and Gen Dimitrios Voulgaris Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff.
“The Hellenic Air Forces has been a very demanding customer but always acted in a spirit of openness and fairness. We have listened and also taken HAF's views into account in the implementation programme. This spirit of co-operation has led to that HAF now can take into service a vital new asset in the defence of the Hellenic republic. A system that everyone that has participated in the program shall be proud of”, concludes Kenth Börjesson.
Operational in several countries
It is over 25 years ago since Saab Microwave Systems delivered the SuperGIRAFFE air defence radars in use by HAF. The recent deliveries of Erieye and also of the Arthur anti artillery radars make Greece one of Saab Microwave Systems most important customers.
Erieye is already operational in Sweden, Brazil and Mexico and has been sold to Pakistan. (defpro.com)
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