1 Dec 2016 | By NAPMA Staff

First CNS/ATM “Glass Cockpit” E‑3A Delivered As Production and Retrofit (PAR) Efforts Ramp Up




Another milestone in the Communication, Navigation, Surveillance / Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) project was achieved on 16 November 2016 when NATO E‑3A aircraft #459 took off from Boeing Field, in Seattle, Washington, USA and landed the next day at the NATO E‑3A Main Operating Base (MOB) in Geilenkirchen, Germany.

The aircraft had been at Boeing’s Military Flight Center (MFC) for the last three years undergoing modification and testing and is the first E-3 AWACS in the world to be modified with CNS/ATM capabilities and a glass cockpit. Tail #459 served as the primary test and qualification aircraft supporting the cooperative USAF-NATO Engineering, Manufacturing & Development (EMD) efforts.

Photo Caption: E‑3A Component Commander & NAPMA CNS-ATM Project Team Members

Although the program encountered several technical and schedule challenges along the way, the cooperative efforts between NAPMA, the USAF, Boeing, NAEW&C Force Headquarters and NE‑3A Component personnel allowed for the re-baselined delivery date, that was established almost one year ago, to be met.

With the delivery of tail #459, the respective project teams will now focus on the Production and Retrofit (PAR) efforts ramping up at the Airbus Defense & Space facility in Manching, Germany, where the remainder of the NATO E‑3A fleet will be upgraded to the CNS/ATM configuration. Currently, two aircraft have been inducted into the PAR line with a third due to be inducted in mid-December 2016. The current retrofit schedule calls for the first production aircraft to be delivered in early March 2017 with the goal of having all the modified aircraft delivered to the NATO E‑3A Component by the end of November 2018.

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