Boeing awarded contract to upgrade E-4B cockpits
The Boeing Company today announced it has been awarded phase one of the Communications Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) E-4B upgrade contract by the US Air Force. The CNS/ATM upgrade, a Federal Aviation Administration requirement, will allow the E-4B National Airborne Operations Center to operate more efficiently at airports and in crowded airspace.
The four E-4B aircraft will be upgraded in three phases.
Boeing is drawing on a commercial off-the-shelf solution originally designed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes for the Boeing 737 series of airplanes. The design will be adapted to support the E-4B, a modified Boeing 747-200.
"Using a commercial solution originally designed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes means we can provide this capability to our customer faster and at the best possible value," said Glenn Winkler, Boeing E-4B programme manager. "This is an important capability for our customer and we are pleased to be able to work with them to keep the E-4B upgraded for today's mission."
The E-4B is a commercial derivative aircraft designed to be used by the US Air Force National Command Authority as a survivable command post for control of US forces in all levels of conflict. The aircraft also supports VIP travel as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides communications to relief efforts following natural disasters.
"The E-4B has a unique mission that requires it to operate in a variety of different situations," said Winkler. "The CNS/ATM upgrade will give the E-4B crew the flexibility it needs to operate in all environments, whether at a commercial airport or on an overseas mission supporting this country's senior military leaders."
Boeing Global Transport & Executive Systems (GTES) will incorporate the phase-one upgrades during the E-4Bs' regularly scheduled maintenance cycle at the Boeing Wichita facility. Phase one includes next-generation flight-management hardware and software, as well as a multimode receiver radio that combines several aircraft systems into a single component. The initial phase one aircraft is expected to enter flight test in the fourth quarter of 2012.
GTES is a Boeing commercial derivative business headquartered in Wichita with major operations in Oklahoma City and the Puget Sound area of Washington state. GTES supports all Boeing aircraft in the US Air Force's executive fleet, including C-32A and C-40B/C, as well as the National Command Authority's E-4B and the Navy's C-40A and E-6B.
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