Boeing has received a contract worth $25.5 million to install a global positioning inertial navigation system (GINS) capability into the mission system and flight deck of the French Air Force's fleet of four E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft. Additionally, the aircraft's altitude measurement system will be upgraded to meet near term requirements of the European Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) system for reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM).
GINS dramatically improves the aircraft's positioning accuracy and reliability, while RVSM allows the E-3 to operate in areas where the air traffic control vertical separation requirements have been reduced to handle increased air traffic.
Boeing will perform system design, manufacturing, procurement, integration and acceptance testing. Under subcontract to Boeing, Air France Industries will modify the aircraft at its facility in Le Bourget, France.
Work begins in July 2001 and will be completed in October 2002.
"The French Air Force continues to recognize the importance of AWACS with this upgrade, which will improve the mission capability of their fleet and comply with near-term GATM requirements," said Mike Brewer, Boeing French AWACS program manager.
France contracted with Boeing to buy four E-3 AWACS aircraft in 1987. They were delivered between 1991 and 1992.
AWACS is the world's standard for airborne early warning & control systems. Currently carried on-board militarized 707 and 767 aircraft, it fills the need for both airborne surveillance and command and control functions for tactical and air defense forces.