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Boeing wins $240 million Saudi Air Force AWACS modernisation contract

Boeing has been awarded a $240 million contract to modernise Saudi AWACS early warning aircraft, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a press release.

“The Boeing Co., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has been awarded a $240,195,180 fixed-price-incentive-firm contract for the Royal Saudi Air Force airborne warning and control system (AWACS) modernization program phase 1,”  the Monday, October 16 release said.

The contract “provides for AWACS mission computing, navigation and communications upgrades, as well as the next generation in identification, friend or foe enhancement designs,” the release said.

US Air Force E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft
A US Air Force E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft during a flight in support of Operation Inherent Resolve May 27, 2017. Image: US Air Forc/Staff Sgt. Michael Battles

The Royal Saudi Air Force operates five E-3A Sentry aircraft commonly known as AWACS, which were purchased in 1983. Others are flown by the UK, France and NATO, as well as the U.S.

The E-3 Sentry is a modified Boeing 707/320 with a rotating radar dome. Designed for all-altitude and all-weather surveillance, AWACS early warning aircraft integrate command and control battle management, target detection, and tracking, giving a real-time picture of the battlespace.

The Defense Department said work will be performed in Oklahoma City, and is expected to be completed by February 28, 2019.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity, and the contract is the result of a sole-source acquisition, the release said.

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