Spanish firm Indra will support the Nato’s E-3A Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft fleet upgrade programme.

The company will work with Boeing and other firms on the AWACS Final Lifetime Extension Programme (FLEP) to extend the service life of the early warning, surveillance and command and control aircraft.

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The modernisation will equip the strategic aircraft with the capability to maintain advantage in future digitised scenarios.

Nato uses the AWACS aircraft to support an array of missions including command and control, aerial surveillance, battlespace management and communications.

The organisation has 14 Boeing E-3 AWACS aircraft that operate from Nato Air Base (NAB) Geilenkirchen in Germany.

Equipped with radar and passive sensors, the surveillance aircraft is capable of detecting air and ground targets over large areas.

The AWACS is derived from Boeing 707 platform and can detect low-flying aircraft that seek to avoid detection from air defence systems, Indra said.

The company also stated that the aircraft provides improved command and control capability for land, air and sea operations.

Last month, Nato signed a $1bn contract with Boeing for the AWACS FLEP programme, which will be funded by 16 Nato allies.

The upgrade is intended to keep the aircraft in operational service until 2035. Enhancements will include improved networking and communications.

The project will also include other companies from Europe and North America.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg revealed that the alliance is planning to introduce another aircraft to replace the E-3A AWACS aircraft fleet.