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Saudi signs for further AWACS upgrade

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.

โ€œThis 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,โ€ 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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