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US approves modernisation of S Arabia's AWACS aircraft

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The AWACS aircraft of S Arabia. A Boeing photo

WASHINGTON (BNS): The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) programme for Saudi Arabia to modernise its 5 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft under a deal worth $2 billion.

The deal includes upgrading the aircraft with Block 40/45 Mission Computing Upgrade systems, 20 Next Generation Identification Friend or Foe (NG IFF) AN/UPX-40 and communication equipment along with spare and repair parts, and training and logistical support.

"The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and the national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability in the Middle East," the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which announced the deal on August 12, said.

Boeing will be the primary contractor for the upgrade programme.

The Saudi Arabian Air Force operates the Boeing-made E-3A Sentry AWACS systems.

The aircraft, based on the Boeing 707 plane, is designed to conduct all-weather airborne surveillance and command, control and communications functions for both tactical and air defence forces.

Tags:

S Arabia  AWACS  Aircraft  Air Force  US  Boeing  
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