[Avionics Magazine 12-13-2016] The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has begun taking deliveries of its E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft with cockpit upgrades from Boeing. According to the company, the upgrades are focused on Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM), with five full-color glass displays. The glass displays will provide crewmembers with customizable aircraft engine, navigation and radar data. The new digital capabilities will also allow NATO to reduce flight crew sizes by one.
Boeing crews have updated the cockpit and avionics systems of NATO's AWACS aircraft, including five full-color displays that provide crewmembers with customizable engine, navigation and radar data. Photo: Boeing.
“These improvements allow the removal of airspace restrictions, which saves NATO flight crews time and fuel, and supplies operators with easier access to the information they need,” said Wendy Atkinson, Boeing AWACS CNS/ATM program manager.
NATO’s AWACS fleet is the alliance’s first integrated, multinational flying unit, providing rapid deployment, airborne surveillance and communication for NATO operations. Thirteen additional NATO AWACS will receive installation of the upgrade as part of a $257 million modification effort. The second aircraft upgrade is already under way, with the entire fleet slated for completion in 2018. The modernization has also been installed on a U.S. Air Force AWACS, which is completing extensive flight tests and will deliver in 2017.