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Next Generation Awacs

Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:14 pm

I read the Boeing presentation on AWACS here:

Found this information: "In November 1997, Boeing received a contract worth approximately $450 million to develop and test the next mission systems upgrade for the NATO E-3 fleet. Under the Mid-Term engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) contract, which runs through 2001, Boeing -- supported by subcontractors from participating NATO nations -- will integrate major system-related enhancements to computers, displays, communications, navigation and target identification. Retrofit of the entire fleet will be implemented during a follow-on contract."

Do you guys know details about the upgrade? Will there be a next-gen AWACS using a upgraded body, the 707-320B seems a bit old. Maybe a 777-300LR? Whats the pricetag of a current gen AWACS?
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RE: Next Generation Awacs

Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:18 pm

I kept on reading and found the 767 AWACS. Seems a bit odd that they use a old airframe when they have the 777's?
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RE: Next Generation Awacs

Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:26 pm

No 777 it is too big. I only see two alternatives 767 or even 737 BBJ 2. Guess with new electronics you don´t need such a large airplane. I think Australia is doing fine with its wedgetails and the Airforce/Navy have already aquired some 737s.
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RE: Next Generation Awacs

Mon Jun 13, 2005 8:21 pm

I don't think there was any change in the airframe or engines or anything like that.

The changes were in the electronics, display consoles, communication equipment, so all the changes were internal. It sounds like a typical upgrade to a military weapon system - replace the vacuum tubes with solid state electronics  Smile
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RE: Next Generation Awacs

Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:53 pm

Hi there!!!

The Mod-Block Upgrade incorporated a new computer and upgrades for the radar....

The Mid-Life upgrade consists of new consoles and all the other stuff mentioned in the Boeing article...  Wink

For the last 3 years NATO is contemplating a change in engines...and the engines only!!!
The two competitors are proposing the future upgrade to either CFM56 (like the E-3D/F and the Saudi E-3s) or
the conversion to JT8 engines ( like on the N707RE ).

During an airshow in the Netherlands in 2003 I spoke to a representative of Boeing, and he mentioned that they would prefer a change to CFM...  Wink

A completely new AWACS was also proposed, but NATO would rather like to have a combined E-3/E-8....

The current fleet of 17 NATO E-3As was planned for a operational life until 2025....but they were aging fast during the 7 years of the Yugoslavian crisis...

But I hope they will remain operational for a looong time....!!!!!  Wink  Wink  Wink


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RE: Next Generation Awacs

Tue Jun 14, 2005 1:55 am

The E-3 (AWACS) and the E-8 (JSTARS) are supposed to be replaced by the E-10A, built on a 767-400ER airframe. One airframe has been ordered, but the USAF has now announced that it will only be a testbed. The real testbed for the E-10A is the 707 Paul Revere (N404PA).

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RE: Next Generation Awacs

Tue Jun 14, 2005 9:43 am

Actually the E-3 is now spiral 3 of the E-10 and will not happen anytime soon. JStars and RJ are the first two for the E-10. The NATO upgrade was just to get all to the US Block 30/35 RSIP standard.

THe Four JASDF E-767s have the same mission system as the current E-3C with the AN/APY-2. It was to expensive for Boeing to restart the 707 for just 4 models, and no one else was buying. Expect the 737 Wedgetail to be a Boeing gap filler for at least 10-12 years of new AWACS/AEW development (though the US will not buy any).

Currently in the USAF we are working on the E-3G, which will be the new designator for the E-3B/C block 30/35 upgrade to block 40 standard. ~2010.

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RE: Next Generation Awacs

Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:35 pm

Quoting Lt-AWACS (Reply 6):
Expect the 737 Wedgetail to be a Boeing gap filler for at least 10-12 years of new AWACS/AEW development (though the US will not buy any).

I agree. I think the NexGen AWACS will be a smaller platform. Right now, the Wedgetail seems to be the platform of the future. But, that could change. But, in the US, the RAAF Wedgetail uses a common airframe as the USN P-8A and C-40A, and the USAF C/VC-40B/C (B-737-700/800/BBJ/BBJ2).

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