NATO fleet will receive digital flight deck upgrades from Boeing

SEATTLE. NATO representatives received the first of fourteen cockpit upgrades for the E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft from Boeing. Upgrades include five full-color glass displays, which provide crewmembers with customizable engine, navigation, and radar data to improve mission execution.

Thirteen additional AWACS will receive installation of the upgrade as part of a $257 million modification effort. The entire fleet is scheduled to complete the in 2018.

NATO’s AWACS fleet is the alliance’s first integrated, multinational flying unit, providing rapid deployment, airborne surveillance and communication for NATO operations. Officials say, the digital capabilities allow NATO to reduce flight crew size by one and the upgrades also improve mission-readiness and decrease customer costs.

The Communication Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) and avionics are compliant with current and future air traffic control and navigation requirements.

“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,” says Wendy Atkinson, AWACS CNS/ATM program manager.

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