NATO begins receiving first upgraded AWACS aircraft from Boeing

Boeing recently said that NATO recently received the first of 14 Boeing E-3A Airborne Warning Control System (AWACS) aircraft featuring upgrades to the cockpit that enhance the aircraft's mission readiness while reducing customer costs.

“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 Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management Program Manager Wendy Atkinson said.

Boeing expects to complete delivery of the remaining 13 aircraft by 2018. The upgrades, which come as part of a $257 million modification initiative, include measures that give the aircraft digital capabilities and reduce the NATO flight crew sizes. These include full-color glass displays that allow flight crews to access engine navigation and radar data with greater efficiency.

“The AWACS program is a vital asset for the NATO alliance and a best practice in transatlantic defense industrial cooperation,” Boeing Europe's Vice President of Government Affairs Brian Moransaid. “Partnering with companies from both sides of the Atlantic helped us get this important capability back in the hands of our customers on time and on budget.”

Boeing has also installed these upgrades on U.S. Air Force AWACS, with an expected completed deliver date in 2017.

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