Saudi E-3 AWACS
The Peace Sentinel program for Saudi Arabia began in 1981. It included five AWACS aircraft and six E-3 derivative (KE-3) inflight refueling tanker aircraft, along with spare parts, trainers and support equipment. In 1984, the Saudi government exercised an option to increase the tanker order to eight.
The first Saudi E-3 was delivered in June 1986, with deliveries of the remaining E-3s and tankers completed by September 1987. In addition to building the aircraft, Boeing assists in operating and maintaining the AWACS and tankers in Saudi Arabia. Boeing has issued subcontracts to three Saudi companies to assist in this support work.
In August 2001, Boeing began installing new mission computers and other hardware and software on the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) AWACS fleet, as part of a contract worth $60 million. Under the contract, Boeing will upgrade the aircraft's mission computer and software to the same level currently in use by the U.S. AWACS fleet and provide RSAF operator training. Upgrading the five AWACS aircraft is expected to be completed in 2002.