Boeing has delivered to NATO the first of fourteen E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft with cockpit upgrades that improve mission-readiness and decrease customer costs. The aircraft was handed over on 13th December.
The Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) digital flight deck and avionics enhancements ensure compliance with current and future air traffic control and navigation requirements.
Upgrades include five full-colour glass displays, which provide crewmembers with customizable engine, navigation and radar data to improve mission execution. Digital capabilities allow NATO to reduce flight crew size by one, leading to greater efficiencies and cost savings.
NATO’s AWACS fleet is an integrated, multinational flying unit, providing rapid deployment, airborne surveillance and communication for NATO operations.
Thirteen additional NATO AWACS will receive installation of the upgrade as part of a $257m modification effort. The second aircraft upgrade is already under way, with the entire fleet slated for completion in 2018.
The modernization has also been installed on a U.S. Air Force AWACS, which is completing extensive flight tests and will deliver in 2017.