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Air Force’s AWACS Aircraft Completes First Airborne EW Data Transmission, Updates

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An E-3G Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft of the U.S. Air Force conducted in-flight data transmissions and an in-air update for the first time during a recent proof-of-concept test in Florida.

The service branch said Thursday the electronic warfare milestone helped showcase the ability of the E-3G aircraft to adapt to new threats and complete mission data reprogramming in a short period on future battlefields.

During the test, the E-3G operated by the AWACS Combined Test Force used its Internet Protocol Enabled Communications satellite communications system to transmit EW data to the 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron, which sent back analyzed and corrected data to the aircraft within an hour.

The team then used the newly received information to update its electronic support measures database using a mission computing system onboard the aircraft.

“The next step is to build on this concept within the E-3G community and work with other airborne platforms to use IPEC and existing datalinks to provide in-air updates for other platforms,” shared Lt. Col. Dameion Briggs, commander of the 605th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Detachment 1.

Based on the Boeing 707 aircraft, E-3G uses an externally mounted radar to provide airborne early warning, command and control to the Air Force.