Boeing has delivered to NATO the first of 14 modified E-3A airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft featuring an upgraded cockpit and avionics suite.
The second aircraft is also undergoing modification testing, and the third E-3A has just been inducted into the process, Boeing says. All aircraft are expected to be completed by 2018 under the $257 million effort.
The upgrade work involves integration of a new digital flightdeck for communication navigation surveillance and air traffic management, and avionics enhancements. This includes installation of five Rockwell Collins full-colour glass displays. The added digital capability will also allow NATO to reduce the flightcrew by one person.
The modification work is being carried out at Airbus Defence & Space’s Manching, Germany facility. Other suppliers to the programme include EMS, Raytheon, Telephonics and Thales.