Friday, September 12, 2008

A tale of 2 AWACS upgrades

Boeing has completed flight systems testing of the Block 40/45 E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft. The upgrade includes a new computer architecture replacing the existing mainframe with open system network servers. The new system also includes better data linking and an improved user interface, well lets hope this new system is up to the job, so often "old iron" is replaced by fancy new boxen which cause no end of trouble, or is that just the software engineer in me talking. The USAF are also looking into upgrading the actual aircraft themselves (Airframe Modernization Program (AMP)) with glass cockpits and maybe new engines.

Meanwhile Russia has started testing a modernisation upgrade of it's A-50M Mainstay AWACS, as with the Sentry the focus of the upgrade has been in replacing legacy analogue systems with digital ones.

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