BOEING HAS WON a $43.5 million US Air Force contract to develop and demonstrate an infra-red (IR) sensor suite for the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) which will be used to detect and track theatre ballistic missiles (TBMs). Testing will take place in 1998.

The contract is part of the Extended Airborne Global Launch Evaluator (EAGLE) programme. Using a combination of IR and laser systems, the Eagle suite will detect missiles during the ascent phase and work out an accurate trajectory using inertial navigation and computer systems. This data will be relayed to terminal and point defences via the Joint Tactical Information and Distribution System.

Source: Flight International