4/12/2007 - ST. LOUIS -- The Boeing Company has
conducted a successful first mission system test
flight of an Airborne Warning and Control System
(AWACS) aircraft upgraded under the Block 40/45
program, the largest enhancement in the history of the
U.S. Air Force E-3 AWACS fleet.
During the seven-hour flight on April 5 from Boeing
Field in Seattle, the crew -- composed of Boeing, U.S.
Air Force and subcontractor personnel -- conducted
functional tests of the aircraft's enhanced
navigation, communications, radar and mission
"The flight was a significant milestone because it
confirms that development of the mission system suite
is on track to support our flight testing plans," said
Stu Oliason, Boeing U.S. AWACS Integration and
In future flights, Boeing will further calibrate the
upgrades and measure their performance. The mission
system flight test program is scheduled for 62 flights
over the next several months.
Under the Block 40/45 program, Boeing outfitted the
Test System 3 (TS-3) AWACS aircraft with new mission
computing hardware and software, upgraded radar
equipment, and navigation and communications systems.
These enhancements are designed to increase the
aircraft's capability through improved automation,
human computer interface and reliability as well as
lowered lifecycle costs. These upgrades make AWACS a
prime catalyst for network-enabled battle management
and command-and-control capability and an
extraordinary force multiplier across the entire
Source: Boeing Press Release