U.K. E-3 AWACS - Industrial Cooperation
Boeing headed an international team of U.S., German and Canadian firms in the development and production of 18 NATO E-3 systems. Industrial involvement also is a key element of the AWACS purchases by the United Kingdom.
A major element of direct support was U.K. installation and checkout (I&CO) of the E-3 mission equipment. Boeingdelivered the aircraft empty to the United Kingdom's selected I&CO contractor, which installed the mission equipment and supported the aircraft through final delivery.
In the United Kingdom, an industry team led by British Aerospace did the I&CO work at RAF Waddington, home base for the U.K. AEW fleet.
While U.K. industries were active participants in AWACS production, such activity represented only a small part of the considerable offset program that accompanied each purchase.
In 1987, Boeing established a European-based organization, Boeing Operations International (BOI), to administer the AWACS offset program. BOI's role was to coordinate the efforts made by Boeing's major divisions and AWACS subcontractors to provide competitive opportunities under the offset plan, and was a point of contact for potential U.K. suppliers.
Along with the benefit of near-term opportunities to U.K. industry, the long-range objective of the AWACS offset program was to forge new and mutually beneficial associations with European industry in various areas of high technology.