Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced the completion of a major mission system production upgrade for the first NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft under the $1.32 billion Mid-Term Modernisation Programme.
Boeing delivered the aircraft to NATO during a ceremony at the European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) facility in Manching, Germany. EADS, as an industry partner and subcontractor to Boeing, completed the modification on schedule.
The entire fleet of 17 AWACS aircraft, based in Geilenkirchen, Germany, is on track to be upgraded in 2008. Boeing also is modifying two NATO AWACS mission simulators into the Mid-Term configuration.
"Achieving this milestone represents the culmination of a true international effort by many talented people from across North America and Europe, including NATO, the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Programme Management Agency, Force Command, the U.S Air Force and more than 15 key subcontractors from 12 nations," said Lee Strom, Boeing NATO AWACS Mid-Term Programme production and retrofit program manager.
"This has been, and will continue to be, a prime example of how great companies and their customers can work together on a global scale to field a world-class product," he continued. "NATO AWACS is now the premier airborne surveillance aircraft."
The enhancements provide a superior view of the battlespace by integrating data from various AWACS sensors, as well as from other sources, and an increased capacity in the number of targets it can manage.
This highly capable mission system provides NATO AWACS aircraft with the ability to receive mission orders from remote locations and updates via satellite data links and electronically integrate them via the mission computing system.
The system offers increased interoperability with other AWACS platforms as well as with fighter aircraft, ground stations, ships and satellites.
The enhancements include: