Boeing has delivered the first Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) radar system improvement kit to Daimler-Benz (Dasa) in Manching, Germany. The delivery is the latest step in the multinational AWACS Radar System Improvement Program (RSIP).
Boeing and its subcontractors, Northrop Grumman, OGMA of Portugal and ATA of Greece, are on contract to build 18 kits for NATO, four for the U.S. Air Force and eight for the United Kingdom. Dasa will begin installing the kits, which consist of a new radar computer, a radar control maintenance panel and electrical and mechanical hardware, on NATO aircraft in mid-November.
RSIP will improve the E-3's radar by increasing the sensitivity of the pulse Doppler radar so the aircraft can detect and track smaller stealthy targets over a longer range. It also will improve the radar's electronics counter-countermeasures capability - making it harder to jam the system - and will upgrade the radar's existing computer with a new high-reliability multi processor, as well as rewrite the software to make it easier to maintain and enhance in the future.
"This first delivery is an important milestone, and follows closely on the heels of our successful efforts to upgrade mission equipment on board the NATO fleet," said Kathryn Whiting, Boeing RSIP program manager. "Maintaining the E-3's overall edge is a necessity," she added, "and delivering these kits to the U.S., NATO and U.K. fleets is a solid step in the right direction."
Air Force personnel at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., charged with installing the kits for the U.S. fleet, will begin receiving their kits in December.
British Aerospace, which will retrofit the U.K. fleet, will receive kits beginning in June 1998. Kit deliveries for current contract requirements are scheduled to be completed in June 2000.