Boeing has selected Leonardo’s software-defined radio (SDR) for the NATO fleet of the E-3A Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS).
The SDR provided by Leonardo is the SWave Airborne SRT-800.
NATO owns and operates the AWACS fleet, which is part of the final life extension program (FLEP) with Boeing.
In 2019 NATO and Boeing have signed a $ 1 billion agreement to modernize the aircraft.
The program will expand the fleet’s operational capability by 2035. The aircraft plays a key role in the alliance’s ability to manage air battles.
Built by Boeing, E-3 AWACS performs functions of air surveillance and command, control and communication (C3) for tactical and air forces. It is derived from the Boeing 707 platform and is equipped with radars and passive sensors.
Cyberattacks continue to be a major threat to all types of military operations.
According to Leonardo, the SRT-800 SDR will allow the AWACS fleet to carry out air-to-air and air-to-ground communications in a secure and cyber-sustainable manner.
Leonardo noted that the SRT-800 can be easily equipped with several fixed and rotary wings, manned or unmanned vehicles. Suitable for upgraded aircraft.
One SRT-800 radio replaces many avionics, such as ultra-high frequency / very high-frequency radio, satellite communications, single-channel terrestrial and air radio system, and a crypto device.
Boeing will integrate the Leonardo SWave Airborne SDR SRT-800 into the aircraft’s mission system.
Using a software update, SDRs can be completely reconfigured easily, while eliminating the need for hardware modifications.
The devices meet the Software Communication Architecture (SCA) standard for maximum flexibility.