Boeing has handed over NATO’s updated E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, the first of 14 the company is contracted to modernize for the intergovernmental military organization through a $257 million modernization effort.
The company updated the communication navigation surveillance/air traffic management digital flight deck and avionics systems of the E-3A to help NATO comply with air traffic control and navigation requirements, Boeing said Wednesday.
NATO uses the aircraft to facilitate rapid deployment, airborne surveillance, communication activities.
The E-3A also includes new digital equipment and full-color glass displays designed to help crewmembers access radar, engine and navigation data.
“These improvements allow the removal of airspace restrictions, which saves NATO flight crews time and fuel and supplies operators with easier access to the information they need,“ said Wendy Atkinson, Boeing’s AWACS CNS/ATM program manager.
Boeing is scheduled to complete updates to the alliance’s E-3A fleet by 2018.
The company has also incorporated the cockpit enhancements on a U.S. Air Force AWACS and expects to deliver the updated aircraft to the military branch in 2017.