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Digital Battlespace

RAF Sentry E-3D AWACS receives Mode S upgrade

6th May 2014 - 12:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) Sentry E-3D Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) fleet has received a Mode S upgrade to the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) interrogator from Northrop Grumman. The upgrade is the latest in a series of modifications to be carried out by the company under the Sentry E-3D Whole Life Support Programme (WLSP).

The IFF interrogator is a sophisticated airborne defence system that provides a long-range, rapid early warning and detection capability, allowing discrimination between friendly and hostile aircraft. The Mode S system enables the aircraft to be used in controlled airspace.

John Parker, director, weapon system sustainment and modernisation, Northrop Grumman Technical Services, said: ‘This innovative system upgrade has eliminated the need for complete mission computer replacement, thereby providing the Ministry of Defence with a comprehensive, affordable solution to the Civil Aviation Authority's upgrade requirement.

‘The new, open architecture system also provides a foundation for future incremental hardware and software upgrades to support sustainment of the Sentry E-3D.’

The work was performed at RAF Waddington, where the Sentry fleet is based.

Northrop Grumman is contracted to deliver the WLSP for the Sentry E-3D AWACS fleet through to 2025. The company works in partnership with the Air ISTAR Programme Team to provide a wide range of through-life services needed to support the Sentry E-3D AWACS aircraft. Northrop Grumman also provides the radar and in-service support for the radar.

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