We have a very interesting development in the war in Ukraine, regarding the supply of US AWACS balloons from Poland to provide early warning against Russian missiles, which we must examine in detail, since it may have a similar application in our country to increase surveillance us in the Aegean-SE Mediterranean and Ionian Sea.
The following is pointed out in a relevant article of a reputable international media:
"Poland will buy AWACS balloons from the US to 'catch' Russian missiles. The delivery of such balloons has been planned since 2017 and will only be an addition to the AWACS aircraft,
The Polish website Defense24 writes that the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has submitted a request to the State Department to supply four airspace surveillance balloons to Poland under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
The exact type of balloon is not known, but it is noted that DSCA accompanied its request with an image of the US Tethered Aerostat Radar Systems (TARS) balloon.
So eventually, the US can agree to supply either TARS itself or another similar system.
Poland planned to buy such balloons from 2017 under the Barbara program. At the same time, the Poles focused on the experience of the US itself, which uses similar systems to protect certain areas of the airspace.
It is known that the standard radar on TARS allows detection of targets at distances of up to 370 km. The advantage of using such systems is that they allow detection of targets at low altitudes and can patrol for a long time.
The purchase of radar surveillance balloons will help Poland fulfill its own functionality in the framework of NATO's joint air defense. The procurement of TARS or another similar system will complement the future market for Aircraft Early Warning and Control (AWACS).
Poland previously announced its intention to buy AWACS aircraft from Sweden, so that it can fully control its airspace from any Russian missiles or aircraft. It should be noted that the possible delivery of TARS or another type of radar surveillance balloon would also enhance Poland's ability to detect Russian cruise missiles or other small low-flying targets in a timely manner."
The Hellenic Air Force has four (4) AWACS aircraft, the Erieye EMB-145H AEW&C, which belong to the 380 Airborne Early Warning and Control System Squadron (M.ASEPE).
The Erieye EMB-145 AEW&C is an aerial Command & Control (C2) platform capable of supporting air and naval operations. Aircraft – carrier of the system is a modified EMB-145 twin-engine jet of the Brazilian company Embraer, which in its civil version can carry 48 – 50 passengers.
From the above we would say that "Poland is showing us the way", to strengthen the existing aerial Early Warning and Control Surveillance System, in the Aegean-SE Mediterranean-Ionian. with "AWACS balloons" in addition to our Air Force's 4 existing Erieye EMB-145 AEW&C aircraft.
I also put the Ionian here because of the Turkish TCG Anadolu while noting that a possible delivery of TARS or another type of radar surveillance balloon would also enhance our ability to detect Turkish cruise missiles or other small targets such as low-flying drones in time and at ranges up to and 370 km.
In general, we believe that the purchase and establishment of TARS balloon surveillance areas by our country would result in a more effective control of the airspace and an even faster interception of would-be invaders from the east, such as fighter drones and missiles, at a lower financial cost.
As an example, we mention the possible purchase of seven (7) of them and the flight areas of each of them in Thrace, Northern Aegean, Central Aegean-South Aegean-SE Crete-SW Crete-Ionian, in areas fully secured by our anti-aircraft defense and fighters our aircraft.