Boeing, prime contractor of NAPMA (NATO AEWC Program Management Agency), has commissioned Leonardo to upgrade the first of NATO's E-3A aircraft as part of the Final Lifetime Extension Program (FLEP). The FLEP will maintain and support NATO's E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) fleet of aircraft, to extend operations until 2035.
The activity, which will be completed by 2023, involves the installation and testing of new generation hardware, and will be carried out by Leonardo's highly specialized staff at the Venice-Tessera plant. Leonardo will also provide support during the subsequent final test phases at the NATO air base in Geilenkirchen, Germany.
"This new and challenging task adds to the ongoing activities in terms of Depot Level Maintenance (DLM) that Leonardo has already been carrying out as part of NATO's AWACS (Airborne Warning & Control System) program since 1986", said Dario Marfè, SVP Commercial and Customer Services of Leonardo's Aircraft Division. “Being selected by Boeing for the upgrade of NATO's first E-3A test aircraft means that an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of aircraft and NATO recognizes the excellent support provided daily by Leonardo over the past decades for support and 'update of the E-3A fleet ".
NATO operates a fleet of Boeing E-3A Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft, recognizable by its characteristic "radar domes" mounted above the fuselage, which provide the Atlantic Alliance with aerial surveillance, command and control, environmental management operational and communications. The NATO Air Base (NAB) in Geilenkirchen, Germany, hosts 14 AWACS aircraft.