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In December, Boeing delivered the final Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft modernized with avionics and a digital cockpit to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Manching, Germany.
This delivery is the final of 14 and ensures NATO AWACS compliance with current and future air traffic control and navigation requirements.
Upgrades include five full-colour digital displays in each aircraft, replacing 1970’s-era dials, and provides crew members with customizable engine, navigation and radar data. These digital capabilities also allow NATO to consolidate crew responsibilities.
“The Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) modernization project enables the NATO E-3A fleet to meet current and foreseen European air traffic management requirements,” said BrigGen Mike Hain, general manager, NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Programme Management Agency.
The first modernized NATO AWACS plane was modified at Boeing facilities in Seattle and delivered to NATO in November 2016. The remaining 13 aircraft underwent modernization work in Manching, Germany.
“We are delighted to deliver this final upgraded AWACS to NATO and honored by their continued partnership,” said Scott Johnson, Boeing’s CNS/ATM manager. “The modernized AWACS equipment provides real cost savings and efficiency so NATO can execute their vital mission for years to come.”
NATO’s AWACS fleet is the alliance’s first integrated, multinational flying unit, providing rapid deployment, airborne surveillance and command and control for NATO operations.