NATO Upgrades AWACS for $1bn

NATO Upgrades AWACS for $1bn 28 November, 2019

NATO plans to award Boeing a $1 billion contract to upgrade the alliance’s fleet of E-3A airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft.

The contract is part of upgrading NATO’s surveillance capabilities. The Boeing E-3A contract is intended to make the AWACs useful to NATO until the aircraft retire around 2035. The aircraft’s upgrades include new communications and networking capabilities, such as enhancements to the aircraft’s data link and voice communications, as well as improvements to its wide-band beyond-line-of-sight airborne networking capability, says NATO.

The E-3A is based on the Boeing 707 commercial airliner. It carries a rotating radar dome mounted atop its fuselage, which is used to detect aircraft and ships. It serves not only as an air surveillance platform, but also as a command and control, and communications hub.

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