767 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft Boeing will deliver to the government of Japan are parked together for the first time at Boeing Field in Seattle. Aircraft No. 1 (far left) and No. 2 (far right) recently completed flight and mission system testing, and will be delivered March 11. Mission equipment -- including display consoles and radar and communication equipment -- currently is being installed on aircraft No. 3 (second from left) and No. 4 (third from left). The rotodome will be installed on aircraft No. 4 in early April, and both No. 3 and No. 4 will begin flight test later this year. The second two AWACS will be delivered in early 1999.
AWACS, the world's standard for airborne early warning and control systems, fills the need for both airborne surveillance and command and control functions for tactical and air defense forces. There currently are 66 E-3 707 AWACS operating in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia and NATO. Production of the 707 airframe ended in 1991, with the 767 platform chosen in replacement.