Japan Upgrades Its E-767 AWACS

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

Japanese AWACS. Source Japanese Air Self Defense Force

Boeing was recently awarded a $60.9 million hybrid (fixed-price-incentive-firm, firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost-plus-incentive-fee) contract to perform the mission computing upgrade installation and checkout on four Japanese E-767 aircraft and associated ground systems. Work will be performed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; San Antonio, Texas; and Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2022.

Computer upgrades are a common occurrence in the military airborne retrofit and modernization market. These upgrades usually involve the installation of faster and more powerful computers that are able to process the capabilities of any new avionics or electronics equipment. Radar, sensors, and electronic warfare and/or weapons systems usually require the most significant parallel computer upgrades. The E-767 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft is very similar to an E-3 Sentry, and thus is likely to need periodic computer upgrades.

Japan has been ramping up its spending on airborne retrofit and modernization as part of an increase in overall military spending. Efforts include a comprehensive upgrade of the nation’s four E-767 AWACS by 2020 under a $402.8 million contract. Other upgrades underway for Japan’s AWACS aircraft include the installation of four electronic support measures systems, eight UPX-40 next-generation identification friend or foe systems, eight APX-119 IFF transponders, and four KIV-77 cryptographic computers. In addition, the mission computers on Japan’s C-5M, Rafale, P-3, F-16, and BAE Hawk aircraft are being upgraded.


Forecast International’s Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Forecast provides operators in the military and commercial aviation sectors with the information they need to maximize their current investments rather than expand their fleets, a trend that is opening up multiple opportunities for the expansion of retrofit and modernization programs. It offers a one-stop service for tracking the status of commercial and military R&M programs in progress worldwide, and pinpoints key developments in the aviation industry that will impact the market in the future.