NATO AWACS Radar Improvement Program More Than Halfway Completed

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that 11 of NATO's 17 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft have been retrofitted with Radar System Improvement Program (RSIP) kits. Completion of the entire fleet is scheduled for early 2000.

Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace, under subcontract to Boeing, is installing the kits at its facility in Manching, Germany.

The RSIP kit consists of a new radar computer, a radar control maintenance panel and electrical and mechanical hardware.

RSIP improves the E-3's radar by increasing the sensitivity of the pulse Doppler radar so the aircraft can detect and track smaller stealthy target. It also improves the radar's electronic counter-countermeasures capability -- making it harder to jam the system. RSIP upgrades the radar's existing computer with a new high-reliability multi-processor and rewrites the software to make it easier to maintain and enhance in the future.

Kathryn Whiting, Boeing NATO AWACS program manager, said, "Outstanding teamwork among Boeing, Daimler-Chrysler and Northrop Grumman was the key to successfully retrofitting the first 10 RSIP kits.

"RSIP equipped AWACS aircraft demonstrated the value of this enhancement during the air campaign over Kosovo by exceeding expectations for performance and reliability," Whiting added.