SEATTLE, Feb. 3, 2010 — The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that it has been awarded a $324 million Foreign Military Sales contract from the Electronics Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., to upgrade France’s fleet of four E-3F Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, as well as the fleet’s ground system.
“This upgrade — the largest ever for French AWACS — will provide the fleet with more actionable information and better situational awareness,” said Steve Swanz, French AWACS program manager for Boeing. “New mission computers also will reduce the mission operator’s workload, allowing more time to be spent managing the battlespace.”
The French AWACS Mid-Life Upgrade is based on the U.S. AWACS Block 40/45 system, which dramatically enhances the potential for network-enabled operations; increases mission execution capability, reliability and effectiveness; and reduces life-cycle costs.
The upgrade will include:
- A primary AWACS display, which increases situational awareness through its intuitive interface and detailed map database
- Upgraded Identification Friend or Foe Interrogation, including Mode S and Mode 5 capability
- An increase in the number of mission consoles aboard each aircraft, from 10 to 14
- Modern mission computing processing, which enables improved AWACS mission performance through the use of advanced battle management tools such as Automatic Air Tasking Orders and Airspace Coordination Order updates, resource and sensor management, and automated decision aids
- Improved combat identification capabilities from integrated sensor and off-board datalinks
- The Multi-Source Integration process, which automatically integrates data from on- and off-board sources such as radar, Electronic Support Measures and Link 16, to provide significantly improved tracking capabilities
- Digital radio control and management through the new mission computing subsystem
- An open system architecture that enables rapid software upgrades and requires less hardware.
Air France Industries will begin installing the enhancements at its Le Bourget Airport facility near Paris in 2012. The entire fleet is scheduled to complete this upgrade in the third quarter of 2015.