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Boeing Demos AWACS Net-Centric Capabilities

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --- The Boeing Company and the U.S. Air Force's Electronic Systems Center are demonstrating network-centric capabilities aboard a U.S. Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) test aircraft during the Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment (JEFX) at Nellis Air Force Base. The event began April 12 and is scheduled to conclude on April 22.

"For the first time, Boeing and the Air Force have brought together key components tested in previous experiments to constitute a complete network-centric capability," said Rick Heerdt, director of Boeing Airborne Warning Systems. "These modifications, which enable more rapid and accurate sharing of data, have been integrated into the new Block 40/45 mission system aboard the Test System 3 AWACS aircraft."

Block 40/45, now in production, is the most significant upgrade in the history of the U.S. AWACS fleet and introduces a state-of-the-art-battle management and command and control capability within a new open architecture mission system.

During JEFX, AWACS operators are using Web applications, such as chat, and display capabilities, including Google Earth, to improve situational awareness and operational effectiveness. The operational tempo will be increased through the use of software applications that read and interpret chat text to automatically update tactical databases.

Operators also will use automated systems to monitor the airspace, allowing them to control the battle more efficiently.

"Net-centric command and control capabilities aboard the E-3 AWACS fleet will allow for more efficient use of airborne and ground assets and give the warfighter a comprehensive picture of the battlefield, resulting in better situational awareness and enhanced decision making," said Heerdt.


A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

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Boeing, US Air Force Demonstrate Network Centric Capabilities at Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment