Leonardo SDR to equip NATO AWACS fleet – Digital Battlespace

SWave SRT-800 software defined radio. (Photo: Leonardo)

A new and improved Leonardo SDR will be installed on NATO’s AWACS fleet.

Boeing has selected Leonardo’s new SWave SRT-800 as the software-defined radio (SDR) of choice for the NATO fleet of 14 E-3A Sentry Air Warning and Control System (AWACS).

As a compact and lightweight SDR, the SRT-800 can equip most manned or unmanned aircraft with a fixed and rotating wing, Leonardo said in a statement on April 14.

The AWACS fleet is one of the few military assets owned and operated by NATO, so it must maintain operational viability.

The SRT-800 will upgrade the E-3A with a secure and cyber-resistant air-to-air and air-to-ground connection. SDR will be installed in the E-3A mission system, replacing avionics as UHF / VHF radio; SATCOM; on Single channel terrestrial and air radio system; and a crypto device.

SDRs are universal and can be reconfigured by updating the software without changing the hardware. This makes radios adaptive and inexpensive.

NATO’s AWACS fleet has been adapted over time to keep pace with technological and geopolitical changes. Leonardo claims that his SRT-800 will allow the E-3A to continue secure communication until their expected end-of-life date in 2035.

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