USAF demonstrates new AWACS capability
The USAF’s E-3G airborne warning and control system aircraft (AWACS) has, for the first time, demonstrated the ability to receive and process in-air EW software updates derived from EW data collected and transmitted during flight.
The E-3G Sentry, operated by the AWACS Combined Test Force, updated its electronic support measures database while in flight over central Texas with a file transmitted from its reprogramming centre at Eglin AFB in Florida using BLoS SATCOM.
The aircraft collected EW information and transmitted the data back to Eglin AFB. Within an hour, the data had been analysed, deficiencies were corrected and the data was transmitted back to the E-3G for immediate loading during the mission.
Lt Col Dameion Briggs explained: ‘This is a big deal because it takes a process that can normally take months, down to hours. It enables the E-3G crews to update their sensor information in near real time.’
The test was made possible using the E-3G’s upgraded satellite communications system called Internet Protocol Enabled Communications and its more flexible mission computing system.
While the USAF continues to operate and upgrade the E-3G Sentry, the service also launched its effort to replace the aircraft earlier this year, in February.
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