Boeing Awarded $8.5 Million to Upgrade Japan’s E-767 AWACS Fleet with ADS-B Out Capability

Boeing has been awarded a contract modification, worth around $8.5 million, to upgrade Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF)’s fleet of four E-767 AWACS aircraft with the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) capability.

ADS-B Out is a software and hardware update to the Raytheon APX-119 transponder that includes the addition of a Global Positioning System (GPS) card.

This modification involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the JASDF with the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, as the contracting activity.

The contract FA8730-18-C-0001, with a total cumulative face value of the contract is around $227.7 million, is for the Japan Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) mission computing upgrade (MCU) installation and checkout (I&CO) and ADS-B Out. Under the E-767 AWACS I&CO program, the GPS card is to be installed within the four aircraft and updating the three ground support facilities.

The contract work will be performed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; San Antonio, Texas; and Hamamatsu, Japan, and is expected to be completed Dec. 23, 2023.

Boeing E-767 is an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft operated by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). It is essentially the Boeing E-3 Sentry (based on Boeing 707)’s surveillance radar and air control system installed on a Boeing 767-200ER airliner.

JASDF E-767 AWACS aircraft
A Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) E-767 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft taxis before takeoff at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 14, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Alejandro Pena)

The electronics system on the E-767 is essentially the same as the later E-3 models, using Northrop Grumman’s (formerly Westinghouse Electronic Systems) AN/APY-2 passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar system. This system is a three-dimensional radar that measures azimuth, range, and elevation simultaneously, and has superior surveillance capability over water compared to the AN/APY-1 system on the earlier E-3 models.

The radar has a 360-degree view, and at operating altitudes it can detect targets more than 320 kilometers (200 miles) away. AWACS mission equipment can separate, manage and display these targets individually on situational displays. The information acquired by the radar system is processed by IBM’s CC-2E central computer conformed to E-3 Block 30/35 Modification.

All four aircraft of the type are operated by the JASDF’s Airborne Early Warning Group (AEWG) 602nd Squadron based at the Hamamatsu Air Base in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.

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