Boeing today announced that three United Kingdom E-3D Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft have been retrofitted with radar system improvement program (RSIP) kits. The aircraft were delivered ahead of the Royal Air Force's in-service schedule.
A total of seven U.K. AWACS are being retrofitted with the kits. Along with the RSIP upgrade is installation of the Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GINS) which dramatically improves positioning accuracy.
Retrofit on the rest of the fleet will be completed in 2001.
British Aerospace, under subcontract to Boeing, installed the RSIP and navigation kits at the Royal Air Force Base in Waddington, England.
The RSIP kit, built by Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector, consists of a new radar computer, a radar control maintenance panel, electrical and mechanical hardware and new radar software.
RSIP improves the E-3D's radar by increasing the sensitivity of the pulse Doppler radar so the aircraft can detect and track smaller stealthy targets. It also improves the radar's electronic counter-countermeasures capability.
"RSIP upgrades the radar's existing computers with a new high-reliability multiprocessor, and rewrites the software. This enhancement significantly improves the AWACS radar capability and maintainability and reduces logistics costs," said Mike Brewer, Boeing U.K. AWACS program manager.
RSIP kits have been installed on the U.S. Air Force and NATO AWACS fleets.