Responding to changing environments and supporting future NATO operational capabilities present continuous challenges. Today NATO is moving forward with a new and improved method of planning and conducting operations. To support the dynamic NATO transformation process, NAPMO is committed to adopt new business approaches and enter into cooperative programmes to expedite the fielding of operational capabilities in response to emerging requirement and at a cost that takes into consideration today’s economic realities. In that sense, efforts are underway for the next phase of NAEW&C enhancements, which will allow the Force to continue fulfilling its operational mandate well into the future.
To be completed by 2018, Follow-Up (FUP) Modernization projects are primarily aimed at enhancing the Identification system (Mode5 / Enhanced Mode S) and replacing the analogue cockpit technology (Cockpit Modernisation - CNS/ATM) with a digital environment. Studies are also being pursued to integrate Internet Protocol (IP) communications.
Identification Friend or Foe - Mode 5 and Enhanced Mode S
The Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system is the military equivalent of the Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) used by Air Traffic Control (ATC) services for the identification and control of aircraft. As such, IFF contributes to the generation of the Recognized Air Picture (RAP) and the Situational Awareness (SA) of friendly air, maritime and ground assets essential for performing Command and Control (C2).
In addition to the integration of IFF Mode 5, a Mode S transponder to operate in “Mode S airspace” and a Mode S interrogator to help generate the Recognized Air Picture will also equip the E-3A aircraft to meet new and future Air Traffic Management (ATM) needs to operate in national and international airspace.
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Cockpit Modernisation (CNS/ATM)
To cope with increasing civil air traffic, Civilian Aviation Authorities will progressively put in place new airspace structures, Air Traffic Management (ATM) procedures, and Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) systems. The new CNS/ATM environment is to largely exploit digital technologies, satellite systems and various levels of automation to establish a seamless Global Air Traffic Management (GATM).
Military aircraft such as the E-3A, which are not complying with emerging ATM standards will eventually be restricted to operate as General Air Traffic (GAT); thereby impeding flying operations. The cockpit modernization involve an extensive suite of sub-systems aimed at ensuring the aircraft can operate within and transit through any airspace without restriction. The new E-3A CNS/ATM systems will also enhance information flow; extend surveillance capabilities; and improve navigational accuracy. It will help address existing supportability issues and consolidate the navigation functions into a three position flight crew concept (2 Pilots, 1 Engineer). While the Engineering Manufacturing and Design (EMD) phase of the cockpit modernization project will be executed in cooperation with the US AWACS fleet, the Production and Retrofit (PAR) phase of each fleet will be done individually.
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