Aerospace Forum: Greek Erieye in Operation Unified Protector

“The Erieye radar system proved its worth during Operation Unified Protector (OUP) over Libya in 2011,” says Lieutenant Colonel George Kouskoutis, Tactical Director of 380 Squadron, Hellenic Air Force.

Speaking at Aerospace Forum Sweden, he said that the US general in charge of the air operations over Libya said that his unit had “won the respect of the other players” for its performance in the conflict.

Based at Souda Bay, Crete from March to October last year, the unit supplied one Embraer 145-based radar system to OUP. The area of operation was mainly in Joint Operating Area (JOA) East, over the Mediterranean to the east of 3 degrees longitude under the callsign ‘Carlsberg’, while its equivalent to the west (callsign ‘Spitfire’) was the responsibility of much larger E-3 AWACS aircraft flown by NATO, the US, UK and France.

“In the beginning we had some fears about whether we could cooperate with these other units, but after a few sorties we realized we could cooperate very well,” said Kouskoutis.


Image: Lt Col George Kouskoutis, Hellenic AF

Lt Col George Kouskoutis, Hellenic AF, at the Aerospace Forum seminar.

The single Erieye flew 175 missions, only suffering nine aborts due to technical or other reasons. Its main roles was to help establish the recognized air and surface picture (RASP) and control combat aircraft heading to missions over eastern Libya.