WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — NATO is moving forward to modernize its Airborne early Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft with new flight deck and avionics systems, US defense contractor Boeing said in a statement on Thursday.
“These improvements provide NATO with an AWACS fleet that will save time and fuel, and will also decrease operational costs by allowing a reduction in the flight crew size,” Boeing AWACS Program Manager Jon Hunsberger said.
The AWACS aircraft have radar atop a modified Boeing 707, and are used by NATO and the United States to provide long-range air-based detection of aircraft, ships and ground targets.
The modernization is part of a NATO and US Air Force upgrade program expected to be completed in 2016 under a $394 million Air Force contract.
Boeing will also upgrade an additional 13 NATO AWACS as part of a $257 million program to be completed by 2018, according to the statement.