Boeing has been awarded a $324m foreign military sales contract, to upgrade four E-3F airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft and ground systems for the French Air Force.
Under the contract awarded by the Electronics Systems Center, Boeing will upgrade a primary AWACS display, which increases situational awareness through its intuitive interface and detailed map database.
Boeing will also upgrade identification friend or foe interrogation, including mode S and mode 5 capability, and increase the number of mission consoles aboard each aircraft from ten to 14.
Boeing will also upgrade the modern mission computing processing system.
This system uses advanced battle management tools such as automatic air tasking orders and airspace coordination order updates, resource and sensor management, and automated decision aids, to improve AWACS mission performance.
Other upgrades will be performed on the multisource integration process, digital radio control and management, an open system architecture, and to improve combat identification capabilities.
Boeing French AWACS programme manager Steve Swanz said this upgrade, the largest ever for the French AWACS, will provide the fleet with more actionable information and better situational awareness.
“New mission computers will also reduce the mission operator’s workload, allowing more time to be spent managing the battlespace,” he said.
The French AWACS mid-life upgrade is based on the US AWACS Block 40/45 system upgrade.
Air France Industries will install the enhancements at its Le Bourget Airport facility near Paris in 2012.
The modernisation programme will be completed in the end of 2015.