The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] this week dedicated a new Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Technology Center (MROTC) in Oklahoma City, Okla. The center will provide readiness capabilities and upgrades to the U.S. Air Force E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) fleet.
The MROTC development project is a joint venture between Trammell Crow Company and Battelle Memorial Institute with the support of state and local government and private industry. In 2005, Boeing signed a lease with the MROTC development partners to construct three hangars that will be used for the AWACS upgrades.
Located across from Tinker Air Force Base, the first AWACS hangar represents the initial phase of development for the MROTC. It is planned as a major military and commercial aircraft facility with 17 hangars and more than one million square feet of related industrial space and education and training facilities.
AWACS represents the world's standard for airborne early warning and control systems. AWACS offers superior surveillance capabilities and fills the needs of both command and control and air battle management functions for tactical and air defense forces. Equipped with a "look-down" radar, AWACS can separate airborne targets from ground and sea clutter returns. It also can detect and track both air and sea targets simultaneously.
The initial fleet upgrades at the MROTC involve flight navigation and communications systems. Future modernizations known as Block 40/45 include new mission computing hardware and software, improved operational console displays and controls, and upgraded radar equipment. Boeing and Tinker personnel will begin installing the enhancements in 2009.