Boeing has delivered to NATO the first of 14 E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft with cockpit upgrades that improve mission-readiness and decreased customer costs
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, officials said.
Upgrades include five full-color 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.
“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,” Boeing AWACS CNS/ATM program manager Wendy Atkinson said.
NATO’s AWACS fleet is the alliance’s first 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 $257 million 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.
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