The Fuerza Aerea Brasilia (FAB - the Brazilian Air Force) has awarded the European Aeronautic, Defence and Space (EADS) Co. Spanish arm - EADS-CASA - a contract covering the upgrading and modernisation of nine recently purchased ex-US Navy Lockheed Martin P-3A maritime patrol aircraft. Elsewhere, the company's Ulm, Germany-headquartered Systems and Defence Electronics business unit has been awarded an approximately € 25 M contract covering the modernisation of 11 L-band (1 to 2 GHz) air defence radars operated by the Hellenic air force.
Looking at these in the order given, sources suggest that the main thrust of the Brazilian effort is the replacement of the aircraft's existing onboard tactical system with EADS-CASA's Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) architecture and the installation of new anti-submarine warfare, radar, electronic support and forward-looking infra-red sensors. Other proposed enhancements include a new Thales developed integrated cockpit, a Link 11 data link package and new navigation equipment. Under the deal, EADS-CASA personnel will carry out the necessary upgrade work in conjunction with the FAB and local industry. The first upgraded aircraft (designated as a P-3BR) is expected to take approximately 30 months to complete. Once in FAB service, the type will be used to patrol and police Brazil's maritime Exclusive Economic Zone and to provide a long-range search and rescue capability.
For its part, as noted previously, the Greek programme involves 11 radars that were originally procured during the period 1979 to 1986 and includes the introduction of state-of-the-art semi-conductor transmitters, improved countermeasures resistance and new signal generation, receiver and evaluation sub-systems. The power modules for the new transmitters are to be produced in Greece and the upgrade is expected to keep the radars in service for 15 years over and above their original service lives.