Leonardo will upgrade NATO AWACS aircraft

As announced on 21 May 2021, Leonardo has been contracted by Boeing – as prime contractor for NAPMA (NATO AEWC Programme Management Agency) – to upgrade the first NATO E-3A test aircraft with the latest hardware.

The upgrade is performed within the framework of the NATO Final Lifetime Extension Programme (FLEP). Its aim is to maintain the NATO’s fleet of E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, which are operative until 2035.

The activity, to be completed within 2023, includes the installation and checkout of newly-developed hardware under this Final Lifetime Extension Programme. It will be accomplished by Leonardo’s personnel of the Venice-Tessera plant in Italy. Leonardo will then also provide support during the final test phase at the Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base.

It did not come as a surprise that Leonardo was contracted by Boeing: the Italian firm has performed Depot Level Maintenance (DLM) activities within the framework of the NATO AWACS (Airborne Warning & Control System) programme since 1986.

Photo: Gert Jan Mentink

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