Leonardo to upgrade first NATO E-3A test aircraft

Leonardo upgrade NATO E3A AWACS
NATO E-3A test aircraft. It will be upgraded by the Italian aerospace company Leonardo.

Within the framework of the NATO Final Lifetime Extension Programme (FLEP), Leonardo has been contracted by Boeing – as prime contractor for NAPMA (NATO AEWC Program Management Agency) – to upgrade the first NATO E-3A test aircraft with the latest hardware. FLEP’s aim is to maintain the NATO’s fleet of E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, which are operative until 2035.

The activity, to be completed within 2023, includes the installation and checkout of newly-developed hardware under the FLEP (Final Lifetime Extension Programme) program accomplished by Leonardo’s highly skilled personnel of the Venice-Tessera plant in Italy. Leonardo will then provide also support during the final test phase at the Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base.

“This new challenging task joins the ongoing Depot Level Maintenance (DLM) activities that Leonardo is already performing within the framework of the NATO AWACS (Airborne Warning & Control System) programme since 1986”, said Dario Marfe’, SVP Commercial and Customer Services at Leonardo’s Aircraft Division. “Being contracted by Boeing for the upgrade of the first NATO E-3A test aircraft is the acknowledgment by an aircraft OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and NATO of the excellent support provided daily by Leonardo over the last few decades for the E-3A fleet support and upgrade.”

NATO operates a fleet of Boeing E-3A Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft, with its distinctive radar domes mounted on the fuselage, which provide the Alliance with air surveillance, command and control, battle space management and communications. The NATO Air Base (NAB) Geilenkirchen, Germany, is home to 14 AWACS aircraft.

Source: Leonardo
Image: Boeing

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