Saudi signs for further AWACS upgrade

by Gareth Jennings

The Royal Saudi Air Force fields five E-3 AWACS aircraft, which it will now upgrade under the RSAF AWACS Modernization Program Phase 2. (Boeing)

Saudi Arabia is to further modernise its fleet of Boeing E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, with a USD397.9 million contract awarded to the original equipment manufacturer on 16 December.

The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) AWACS Modernization Program Phase 2 award will see all five aircraft upgraded in the United States and Saudi Arabia till 21 February 2026.

“This contract provides for production, training, and installation and checkout, in order to keep the RSAF E-3 AWACS fleet interoperable with the US Air Force (USAF) and functionally viable through its expected end of life in 2040,” the US Department of Defense said in its contract notification, noting that the work involves 100% Foreign Military Sales funding.

Boeing delivered Saudi Arabia's AWACS aircraft between June 1986 and September 1987. As noted in the announcement, Saudi Arabia's AWACS modernisation is part of a wider effort to keep pace with the technological improvement being implemented for the USAF's fleet of 31 aircraft.


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US Army merges data analytics, combat management programmes

by Carlo Munoz

The US Army command post during Joint Warfighting Assessment (JWA) 21 at Fort Carson, Colorado, which was the culmination of testing for CPCE Increment 1. (Amy Walker/US Army PEO C3T public affairs)

US Army officials within the service's primary information systems and networking technology directorates are working to merge two major programmes – data analytics and combat management – into a cohesive capability, with the goal of leveraging the new, joint programme into the army's burgeoning data fabric development effort.

Programme officials from Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) and Program Executive Office Command, Control, and Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T) are in the midst of consolidating PEO EIS's ‘Vantage' data analytics and visualisation platform with PEO C3T's Command Post Computing Environment (CPCE) programme, US Army Chief Information Officer (CIO) Raj Iyer said.


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Sweden signs for GlobalEyes

by Gareth Jennings

Sweden is to field two GlobalEye AEW&C aircraft, with the option for a further two. (Saab)

The Swedish government has contracted Saab to deliver two GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft for the country's armed forces.

The manufacturer announced the order on 30 June, saying the SEK7.3 billion (USD716 million) order will see the two aircraft delivered in 2027. The contract includes options for a further two GlobalEyes, for a total fleet of four aircraft.

Coming about nine months after the Swedish Armed Forces submitted its request to the government to procure the GlobalEye in September 2021, the contract will enable the Swedish Air Force to replace its two ageing Saab 340 (ASC 890) Erieye platforms.

The GlobalEye is built around the Saab Erieye Extended Range (ER) radar that is housed in the same external dorsal ‘plank' as the company's original Erieye system. Equipped with gallium nitride and other technologies, the Erieye ER is an active electronically scanned array (AESA) system that doubles the radar's power efficiency compared with previous Erieye iterations. It has a range in excess of 650 km, which can be extended by focusing the radar's energy.


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Indian Army orders mountain variant of WLR

by Akhil Kadidal

BEL has developed a lighter, compact variant of its Swathi Mark I weapon location radar (pictured here). The new system is intended for operations on mountains and at high altitudes. (BEL)

The Indian Army has ordered six units of a new “mountain variant” of a weapon location radar (WLR) system developed by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

Speaking to Janes at a recent event, Anandi Ramalingam, BEL's chairman and managing director, said that six Swathi Mark II units were ordered.

“The six units ordered are the mountain version of the WLR, which are lighter in weight,” Ramalingam said. “The Indian Army operates around 30 of the older Mark I variants.”

According to a BEL source, the Mark I variant, which is spread across 8×8 wheeled Tatra trucks, comprises two vehicles weighing 30 and 28 tons. The Mark II variant, which is based across two 6×6 wheeled Tatra trucks, weighs 18 tons each. “This is to satisfy the army's primary requirement that the platform should comply with bridging capacities,” the source said.


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Saudi Arabia is to further modernise its fleet of Boeing E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control Sys...

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