Boeing has bagged a $49.2 million contract to upgrade communications aboard Saudi Arabia's fleet of five E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.
The US Air Force Electronic Systems Centre at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, has awarded the contract under a foreign military sales agreement.
The enhancement, known as Link 16, is a secure, jam-resistant, digital data link that allows military aircraft, ships and ground units to exchange tactical pictures in near real time. Link 16 also supports the exchange of text messages, imagery data and provides additional channels for digital voice.
The Link 16 secure data and voice link allows direct communication between the AWACS and fighter aircraft in the combat zone. The Link 16 AWACS upgrade is the first in a series of anticipated upgrades to the Saudi AWACS fleet.