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Paloulian K, Jun-2013. Skywatcher, Air International Vol. 84 No. 6

Paloulian K, Jun-2013. Skywatcher, Air International Vol. 84 No. 6

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Published by: Foro Militar General on Jun 12, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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ixty years ago the thenRoyal Hellenic Air Forcetook part in tacticaltransport missions whenthe United Nationsasked or its help during theKorean crisis. It was a paybackto the Allies or their liberation o Greece rom the Axis occupationin World War Two and their aerial support during the Greekcivil war. No.355 TransportSquadron responded to the callto arms with C-47 Dakotas call-signed ‘Atlas’.In 2011 the Greeks werecalled upon again when, ater the UN Security Council issuedresolutions 1970 and 1973,the US and its allies askedor Hellenic Air Force (HAF)ghters to help implementOperation Unied Protector (OUP) over Libya. The highnumber o HAF ghter sortiesbeing fown over the AegeanSea made such a requestimpossible to ulll.
Strategic Support
Greece provided support to USNavy carriers, ships, transportand command and controlaircrat. Its location close tothe Gul o Sirte meant Greecewas strategically positionedwhen hostilities began in Libya.Although Libya was never athreat to Greece, the GreekGovernment pledged to providesupport rom the very beginning,though the HAF would notparticipate in any combat air patrols (CAPs) or bombingmissions in OUP.Souda AB in Crete, knownin US Navy parlance as NavalSupport Activity Souda Bay, wasone o the rst bases involvedin supporting operations. NSASouda has a similar strategicvalue or US orces in the EasternMediterranean as RAF Akrotiri inCyprus has or the UK.Ater operations started, theGreek Government received
Kirk Paloulian describes the Hellenic Air Force’s Embraer EMB-145H AEW&C aircraft and reviews its role in operations over Libya
urther requests to house ghter aircrat at the country’s air bases. Six Block 15 F-16MLUFighting Falcons o the RoyalNorwegian Air Force rom BodøAB were subsequently detachedto Souda. In addition, BelgianAir Component F-16AMs weredetached at Araxos AB in thewestern Peloponnese peninsula.On March 21, 2011 our o theseaircrat took o rom Araxos onair policing missions to helpenorce the no-fy zones over Libya. They were each armedwith two AIM-9L Sidewinders,two AIM-120 AMRAAM missilesand an AN/ALQ-131 electroniccountermeasures pod. Therst air-to-ground mission wasundertaken by these aircrat onMarch 24.As preparations or OUPbegan, Greece decided tomake its latest strategic assetsavailable to the coalition – theour HAF Embraer EMB-145HAEW&C (Airborne Early Warningand Control) aircrat operated by380 AEW Squadron within 112Wing based at Elesis AB.
AEW Need
The arrival o a permanentAEW&C asset in the HAFwas long anticipated. Theestablishment o the AerialTactics Centre and a Fighter Weapons School at AndravidaAB on August 14, 1983combined with the introductiono an electronic intelligence(ELINT) version o the HU-16B Albatross and a C-130HHercules ELINT/COMINT(communications intelligence)platorm, created a nucleusor a dedicated squadron thatwould operate a modern AEWasset. In addition, rom the early1980s HAF fight and missioncrews were assigned to theE-3A Sentry-equipped NATOAirborne Early Warning Forceat Geilenkirchen, which gave
The ‘ski box’ that houses the Saab Microwave Systems ErieyePS-890 radar is a prominent feature of the EMB-145H.
Ian Harding
the HAF crews experience inthe AEW role. However, theneed or an HAF AEW&C aircratwas made even greater in the1980s and 1990s as the TurkishAir Force stepped up its fghter intrusions into Greek airspace.As an interim solution a pair o AEW&C Saab S100B Argusaircrat ftted with Ericsson(now Saab Microwave Systems)Erieye PS-890 radar systemswere leased rom the SwedishAir Force (Flygvapnet). Theorder was placed in December 1998. Aircrat modifcationswere undertaken by Saab andEricsson over the course o ayear. No.380 AEW Squadron,with its call-sign ‘Ouranos’ –meaning sky – was established atElesis, and HAF F-4E weaponssystem ofcers and air trafccontrollers were re-trained asradar operators/controllers. Theconverted aircrat arrived inJune 2001 and were operateduntil late September 2003 –marking the frst and so ar only co-operation between theFlygvapnet and HAF.
The lease led the HAF to selectthe Embraer R-99A ftted withthe Erieye system to provide amore permanent and ar moresophisticated AEW&C presenceover the Aegean Sea. TheHAF ordered our exampleso the aircrat, a militaryAEW&C version o the Braziliancompany’s successul EMB-145commercial airliner.Following the training o maintenance personnel andmission crew at Embraer’sacilities at São José dosCampos, Brazil, the frst o the our aircrat (c/n 671) wasdelivered by Embraer pilots toGreece on October 29, 2004.The aircrat was designatedEMB-145H.
So began a long process o introducing the aircrat to HAFservice – it was particularlydrawn out because the HAFwas the frst user o the typeand systems rom our dierentcompanies (Embraer, Ericsson,Thales and Elettronica) werebeing integrated onto it. Keyamong the operational testswas the interoperability o theEMB-145H’s datalink and Erieyesystems.

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