One of the 14 aircraft in the NATO fleet of E-3A Sentry AWACS aircraft. (Photo: Boeing)
Leonardo will provide a hardware upgrade for the NATO E-3A Sentry fleet with a Boeing subcontractor.
As Lead Executor of the Final NATO Life Extension Program (FLEP) for the Alliance Fleet E-3A Sentry aeronautical warning and control system (AWACS), Boeing selected Leonardo to provide a hardware upgrade for the first test aircraft.
“The work to be completed in 2023 includes the installation and testing of newly developed hardware,” Leonardo announced on May 21.
The company will then provide support during the final phase of the test at NATO’s Geilenkirchen air base (home to 14 AWACS aircraft operated by the alliance).
Leonardo announced in April that its new software radio station SWave SRT-800 will equip the NATO fleet AWACS.
The NATO Program Management Agency AEWC controls FLEP. The program aims to ensure that NATO’s E-3A fleet remains in service until 2035 and potentially beyond, dealing with authorized upgrades to communications systems, hardware and software for computing missions.
NATO’s E-3A AWACS fleet received modernization for communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management between 2016 and 2019, notes Shephard Defense Insight.