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US AIR FORCE (USAF) 707 E-3A JET AIRPLANE TRAINING BASE. (AWACS) TRAINERS (TC-18E).
USA (United States of America) was established in 1776, it covers an area of 9,363,123 sq km, its population is 280 million, its capital city is Washington DC, and its official language is English.
November 2006: Boeing (TBC) is working with the US Air Force (USF) to show how network-centric computer tools can streamline airborne battle management, using E-3A Sentry Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) airplanes as a test platform.
The intent, according to Boeing (AWACS) Development Manager Kevin Jones, is to help the Air Force (USF) prioritize its investment in net-centric technology. The two-year, Boeing (TBC)-funded Cooperative Research & Development Agreement (CREDA) is not, however, part of the airplane’s current Block 40/45 upgrade.
“What this does is give us the ability to look at the problem of net-centric warfare and quantify the specific military benefits,” Jones said. “A lot of it has to do with basic infrastructure, like quality of service and level of connectivity. We have to determine the nature and quantity of the data we want to move and how fast it has to travel to support the mission.”
(AWACS)-based research has centered on the replacement of voice communications with digital relays, in a bid to speed up time-sensitive targeting. In addition, operator displays are being enhanced with data from sources besides the airplane’s on board radar. The package includes “decision aids,” such as color-coded symbols denoting target status as it evolves in combat.
One likely scenario involves a potential enemy target broadcasting radar signals — known in the early warning business as an “emitter.” An airplane with a passive (ISR) system locates the site and conveys the information to the Coalition Air Operations Center (CAOC) on the ground. The (CAOC) requests more information and adds the target to a list. Can Special Operations Forces or space-based (ISR) assets identify it?
(AWACS) operators watch the scenario develop, while the target moves higher on the list. Using the new net-centric tools, they match airborne strike assets with the target. If a formation of F-15E strike airplanes was on call, for example, the (AWACS) could verify their fuel status and arrange midair refueling, if needed.
“Using forward-based radar sensors to extend (AWACS) visibility, gives us much earlier target identification and faster reaction time,” Jones said.
Software and other features proven during the (CREDA), if developed, could reach the (AWACS) fleet by 2013, according to Boeing (TBC).
Another candidate for the net-centric treatment could be the Boeing P-8A, a 737-derived airplane slated to be the US Navy (USN)’s next antisubmarine warfare/(ISR) airplanes.
“For now, we’re focused on supporting the (AWACS) modernization road map, of which the network is key,” Jones said. “It shortens the kill chain and increases bombs on target.”
Based on the 707 airliner, the E-3A (USE) is in its 4th decade with the (USF), which operates 33 of the type. (NATO) has 17 (AWACS) airplanes in service, while Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) has 7. Saudi Arabia and France fly 5 and 4, respectively.
Block 40/45 — the most recent (AWACS) upgrade — incorporates numerous enhancements, including replacement of 1970s-vintage mainframe computers and displays with modern devices.
August 2008: The USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight-test program for the Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (JT8D-219) 707 re-engining program is underway at Mojave, California, USA. The engine is being used to re-engine the US Airforce (USF)'s Boeing E-8C JSTARS and (NATO) (NAT) E-3 (AWACS) surveillance airplane derivatives of the 707. The (JT98D-219)s will be provided on an operational lease basis by (P&W). The upgrade will provide up to 22% fuel burn reduction and a take-off noise reduction of 40dB over the existing (P&W) (TF33)/(JT3D) engines. The program was developed with the help of Dublin-based 707 operator Omega Air (OMG) and its San Antonio, Texas subsidiary, Seven-Q-Seven. SEE ATTACHED PHOTO AND ARTICLE - - USE-707-2008-08."