Greece and Turkey to Acquire AEW&C Capabilities
Recent reports indicate that both Greece and Turkey are moving towards the procurement of an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) capability for their respective air forces. The Greek requirement reportedly calls for at least four aircraft, which currently are being bid for by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Ericsson Microwave. Lockheed Martin is offering the C-130 Hercules/APS-145 radar solution, Northrop Grumman is bidding the APS-145-equipped Hawkeye 2000 and Ericsson is working with French contractor Thomson-CSF on an Erieye-radar-equipped EMB-145 platform. As scheduled currently, Greece is expected to select a solution by the end of the year and sign a contract by the middle of 1999. An unconfirmed report suggests that if Northrop Grumman’s Hawkeye 2000 is selected, the US may be willing to lease a number of E-2C Group I aircraft to Greece to provide an interim AEW&C capability prior to delivery of the new aircraft.
The Turkish AEW&C requirement also calls for four aircraft, which are being competed for by Boeing, Lockheed Martin and a team comprising Raytheon Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). Boeing is offering both Boeing 737- and 767-based solutions, Lockheed Martin is bidding an APS-145-equipped C-130J and Raytheon/IAI is submitting a variant of IAI’s EL/M-2075 radar with an A310 airframe. Reportedly, Boeing’s 737 proposal utilises the Northrop Grumman multirole electronically scanned array radar while the 767 solution is similar to the APY-2-radar-equipped E-767 supplied to Japan.
In-Snec Launches New INMARSAT-B Terminal
French contractor In-Snec has launched a new ground terminal for the International Maritime Satellite (INMARSAT) Organisation’s INMARSAT-B satellite communications system that enables INMARSAT digital 64 kbps high speed data (HSD) service users to switch between national HSD interfaces without special adaptors. Equipment in the Globalis-B system is available with a choice of RS449, S0, V35 or X21 HSD modules and incorporates interfaces for up to five telephones or facsimile machines, a universal credit card reader and a PC/printer interface.
Globalis-B is available in Office and Voyager configurations for fixed-site or self-contained mobile applications. The Office configuration weighs 12.5 kg and requires an external antenna and AC power supply. The 14.5 kg Voyager application incorporates a foldaway antenna and AC or DC power supply and is packaged in a carrying case.
European Companies Negotiate on Single Active Array Radar Programme
Swedish contractor Ericsson Microwave Systems reportedly is negotiating with the GEC/Thomson-CSF/Daimler-Benz Aerospace Airborne Radar (GTDAR) consortium in hopes of merging its independent active array radar programme with the programme being undertaken by GTDAR. A draft memorandum of understanding between the two parties has been completed and Ericsson has suspended talks with potential US partners.
Ericsson has also delayed initial flight testing of its active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar until at least 1999. The AESA programme, which is aimed at replacing the PS-05/A radar in the JAS 39 Gripen multirole fighter from 2010 onwards, began in 1994 and by 1997 had progressed to ground trials with an array of approximately 100 transceiver modules. The proposed radar also features extended azimuthal coverage via a movable array mounting platform, a feature that is considered quite unique for such a radar.
The GTDAR consortium is developing the airborne multirole solid-state active array radar (AMSAR) as a midlife update for a variety of European combat aircraft, including the multinational Eurofighter 2000 and Tornado types together with France’s Rafale and Mirage 2000 fighters. Flight testing of an AMSAR technology demonstrator is scheduled for 2002 and the consortium has already completed the system’s initial development phase. The AMSAR also is scheduled to enter service in 2010.
Philips Launches RF Receiver Front-end IC for ACES Mobile Telephone System
Netherlands contractor Philips Semiconductors has launched the model SA1921 RF receiver front-end IC that is designed specifically for use in Asian Cellular Satellite (ACES) dual-band mobile telephones. ACES standard equipment is designed for operation in the 15.25 to 15.59 GHz frequency band; the SA1921 unit also is able to support the 900 MHz Global System for Mobile communications and 800 MHz Advanced Mobile Phone Service systems.
The SA1921 receiver front end incorporates cellular- and satellite-band low noise amplifiers and downconversion mixers. A satellite-band image-reject mixer eliminates the need for an external bandpass filter between the low noise amplifiers and mixers. A transmit mixer also is provided for downconversion to a modulated transmit IF. The IC incorporates integrated control logic, power-down-mode circuitry and input/output buffers to reduce external glue components and enhance ease of use. The unit is provided in a 48-pin plastic, low profile, quad-pack package.
Elta Launches New Family of SARs
Israeli contractor Elta has launched a new family of EL/M-2060 synthetic aperture radars (SAR), which comprises two distinct variants: EL/M-2060P and EL/M-2060T. The model EL/M-2060P is a pod-mounted system designed for fast jet applications with minimum impact on their combat capabilities. The self-contained EL/M-2060P pod incorporates an integrated Global Positioning System/inertial navigation system unit, data link terminal, mass storage unit and environmental control subsystem. The subsystem facilitates use of the complete system over a wide range of altitudes and up to and including supersonic speeds. Radar operating modes include wide area strip and high resolution spot and strip with moving-target indication. System weight and power output are approximately 590 kg (depending on specific aircraft installation) and 4 kW, respectively.
EL/M-2060T is a turnkey, real-time SAR battlefield surveillance system that can be installed in light- to mid-size transport and/or business aircraft. In baseline form, the application comprises the radar sensor, an airborne exploitation console, a data link and an associated ground exploitation station. Available options include a naval surveillance mode for the radar and provision for the integration of signal intelligence and electro-optic sensors into the suite. Radar operating modes include wide area strip and high resolution spot and strip with moving-target indication. System weight and power output are 180 kg (depending on installation) and 3.5 kW, respectively.
Saudi Arabia Buys Panther Multimedia Communications System
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defence and Aviation has awarded a £2 M contract to UK contractor Racal Radio covering the supply of an undisclosed number of Panther enhanced digital radio (EDR) multimedia tactical communications systems for use in the Saudi armed forces. The Panther EDR system incorporates the 5/20 W manpack and 20/50 W vehicular Panther V radios, the 5 W Panther P hand-held/mini-manpack transceiver and a system management package. System facilities include multiple simultaneous access, collision-sense multiple access, forward error correction and an electronic net activity/fault isolation log capability.