Saudi AWACS Fleet Upgraded

Boeing has completed upgrade work on Saudi Arabia’s fleet of E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.

In a press release on May 23, 2017, Boeing announced it has finished upgrading E-3A AWACS aircraft for Saudi Arabia.

The firm noted the upgrades “substantially enhance the technological capabilities” of the aircraft.

Furthermore, the press release stated,

“Among the enhancements to improve radar capabilities and reduce repair time for the airborne surveillance fleet are systems that increase the original equipment’s radar sensitivity and expand the range for tracking targets. 

The upgrades, called the Radar System Improvement Program (RSIP), comprise a new radar computer, a radar control maintenance panel and electrical and mechanical software and hardware.”

The statement also quoted Saudi AWACS program manager for Boeing Keith Burns as saying, “The AWACS’s main mission is to provide real-time situation awareness, and our teams have stayed true to that mission.

“The modernized software, multiple radar nodes and overall enhanced operation make this is the most significant upgrade to the AWACS radar since it was developed in the 1970s,” Burns said.

The first aircraft saw upgrade work in Seattle, but the remaining aircraft were modified at Alsalam Aerospace Industries in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Boeing engineers supported the program in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia operates five E-3As, which were delivered in 1986 and 1987.

About Derek Bisaccio

Military markets analyst, covering Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa.

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