Boeing completes NATO AWACS upgrades
Boeing crews have updated the cockpit and avionics systems of NATO's AWACS aircraft, including five full-color displays that provide crew members with customizable engine, navigation, and weather data.
Boeing photo

Boeing completes NATO AWACS upgrades

Delivers final Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft modernized with digital cockpits.

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December 28, 2018
Edited by Eric Brothers

Boeing has delivered the final Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft with modernized 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-color digital displays in each aircraft, replacing 1970s-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 Brig. Gen. Mike Hain, general manager, NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Program Management Agency.

The first modernized NATO AWACS plane was modified at Boeing facilities in Seattle, Washington, and delivered to NATO in November 2016. The remaining 13 aircraft underwent modernization work in Manching, Germany.

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.