Skywatcher: Air International Magazine on the Greek ΑWACS in Libya
During the night of March 31-April 1, 2011, the HAF EMB-145H undertook its first OUP mission providing ΑWACS/AEW coverage to CAOC 5 of traffic in Libyan airspace. The aircraft flew in racetrack patterns from areas over the Mediterranean, south-west of Crete, to 120km (75 miles) north-northwest of Benghazi. During these missions the aircraft operated adjacent to and south of the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) and within the JOA – both shared a common border to the southwest of Crete.
The EMB-145H supported efforts to suppress Libyan Arab Air Force (LARAF) fighter activity. The eastern holding areas in which it operated were in range of the LARAF SA-5 Gammon surface-to-air missile (SAM) positions, which were shown to crews on the latest information briefing cards.
There was only one instance when the EMB-145H tracked an active SA-5 site, although it also tracked the positions of mobile, smaller-range antiaircraft batteries such as SA-2 Guideline, SA-3 Goa, SA-6 Gainful and SA-8 Geckos. In this way the EMB-145H formed part of the coalition’s suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) and electronic warfare (EW) network to neutralize any threats. From intelligence reports, reconnaissance assets and electronic support measures (ESM) it became clear that SEAD was successful and LARAF fighter activity was minimised.
In addition to SEAD and ESM, the EMB-145H also performed air surveillance, ocean surface picture (SURPIC), defensive counter air (DCA), offensive counter air (OCA) and close air support (CAS) and reconnaissance, undertaking track relays of airborne and surface targets via its Link 11/Link 16 datalinks. It was also ordered by CAOC 5 to direct CAP fighters to visually identify LARAF fighters and helicopters.
An example of the EMB-145H’s use as an air surveillance relay came when it tracked LARAF helicopters operating in the areas of Al Jambijia, Benina, Misrata and Sirte. There happened to be a …read more
Source:: Defense Greece (Air)