Boeing Awarded Contract Modification for NATO AWACS Upgrade

Boeing [NYSE: BA] has received a contract modification to continue and complete the Mid-Term Modernization Program, a major upgrade to NATO's fleet of 17 AWACS aircraft.

The agreement, which increases the value of the Mid-Term contract to more than $1.3 billion, was awarded by the Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. acting as agent for the NATO Airborne Early Warning Programme Management Agency in Brunssum, Netherlands. The upgrade includes integration of state-of-the-art enhancements to the fleet's computers, displays, communications, navigation and target identification systems.

Under the contract modification, additional work packages will provide engineering and development to integrate new commercial-off-the-shelf electronics and computing systems, as well as an option for the production and retrofit program.

Production and retrofit of the fleet would be authorized in 2004 following the successful completion of a NATO initial operational test program of the first AWACS aircraft modified under the Mid Term Program. This phase of testing is scheduled for completion in August 2003.

Steve Behnen, Boeing NATO AWACS program manager, said, "This new agreement paves the way for us to complete the development work and deliver this powerful capability to our NATO customer."

The Mid-Term Program enhancements include:

  • Five new operator consoles
  • Flat panel situation displays with a Windows-like environment to support the interaction between operators and sensor systems increasing the operator's situational awareness
  • A new mission computing system implementing advanced Multi-Sensor Integration which will improve the reliability and accuracy of target tracking and identification, automated recording and replay of mission data; An open-system architecture supporting cost-effective future upgrades to hardware and software
  • Digital communications systems to improve crew management and use of radio links
  • Satellite communications that will be integrated into the mission system for over-the-horizon communications links
  • Broad-spectrum VHF radios that will support improved interoperability with Eastern European nations' air and ground forces
  • Improved Identification Friend or Foe systems that will be compatible with emerging international air traffic control systems requirements
  • New capabilities for Identification Friend or Foe interrogation
  • Upgraded aircraft navigation that takes advantage of the new Global Positioning System.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $23 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-base communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.

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Dave Sloan
Martha Newhart