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.