Boeing has received a $24 million long-lead production contract to continue a major upgrade of NATO’s fleet of 17 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.
This upgrade is said to include the integration of enhancements to the fleet’s computers, displays, communications, navigation and target identification systems, as part of the Mid-Term Modernisation Program.
The contract was awarded by Electronic Systems Centre, Hanscom, Air Force Base, acting as agent for the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Program Management Agency in the Netherlands.
One aircraft, modified as part of an engineering, manufacturing and development contract under the Mid-Term Modernisation Program, is undergoing flight-testing.
The rest of the fleet will be upgraded under a production and retrofit contract expected to be awarded in 2002.
The enhancements include 14 new operator consoles incorporating flat panel displays with a Windows-like environment to support the interaction between operators and sensor systems increasing the operator’s situational awareness and improved Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) interrogators and transponders that will be compatible with emerging international air traffic control systems.