HomeNewsArticle Display

First E-3 with DRAGON modification arrives at Tinker AFB

Inside the cockpit of the first of 24 E-3 Sentry aircraft to undergo glass flight deck modification known as DRAGON.  (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Inside the cockpit of the first of 24 E-3 Sentry (AWAC) aircraft to undergo glass flight deck modification known as DRAGON. The modification provides three primary benefits to the warfighter. It ensures compliance with current and future air traffic control requirements, it replaces 1970s analog technology, and it automates the navigation functions by optimizing crew resource management during flight operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kelly White)

The first of 24 E-3 Sentry aircraft to complete glass flight deck modification known as DRAGON prepares to touchdown at Tinker Jan. 9, 2017. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

The first of 24 E-3 Sentry aircraft to complete glass flight deck modification known as DRAGON prepares to lands at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., Jan. 9, 2017. DRAGON provides three primary benefits to the warfighter. It ensures compliance with current and future air traffic control requirements, it replaces 1970s analog technology, and it automates the navigation functions by optimizing crew resource management during flight operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kelly White)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. (AFNS) -- The first E-3 Sentry aircraft with the glass flight deck modification known as DRAGON (Diminishing Manufacturing Sources Replacement of Avionics for Global Operations and Navigation) arrived at Tinker Air Force Base Jan. 9.

“Today marks a significant chapter in this wing’s history, as we prepare our Airmen for tomorrow’s challenges. This is the first of 24 modified E-3s that we will receive over the next eight years. Fleet modernization efforts increase our aviators’ capability to establish, project and sustain battle management support to combatant commanders,” said Col. David Gaedecke, the 552nd Air Control Wing commander.

DRAGON provides three primary benefits to the warfighter. First, it ensures compliance with current and future air traffic control requirements in international and domestic airspace. This allows crews access to Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum airspace and optimal flight levels increasing fuel efficiency and reducing clearance delays.

Secondly, it replaces 1970s analog technology with commercially viable digital flight management systems. Some of the avionic indictors include multicolor graphic displays that customize and accurately portray engine, navigation and radar data. Additionally, DRAGON adds the Mode-5 Identification Friend or Foe and provides Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast. These two capabilities are critical to aircraft modernization that drastically increases situational awareness and enhances flight safety.

Finally, it automates the navigation functions by optimizing crew resource management during flight operations. This system increases the navigational data reservoir encompassing GPS data to comply with new International Civil Aviation Organization and Air Force regulations. Additionally, the weather radar system safeguards aircrew by predicting and highlighting hazardous weather conditions.

“With the flight deck modernization, we are able to replace aging avionics, exponentially increasing our capabilities and reducing costly maintenance on the fleet,” said Lt. Col. Chris Hansen, the 552nd ACW DRAGON project officer. “The DRAGON upgrade brings our fleet into the modern age and will provide a greater operational capacity beyond 2025.”

The wing and program office expedited the aircraft delivery to complete post-system test requirements, in conjunction with scheduled maintenance. The 552nd ACW will be able to train on DRAGON from Tinker AFB; significantly reducing maintenance and operational costs.

“The arrival of this aircraft is the result of six years of hard work and dedication by the E-3 System Program Office, NATO E-3 Modernization Team and our very own program officers,” Gaedecke said.

“They have done a phenomenal job. Over the next year, aircrew and maintenance personnel will be training and performing operational testing and certifications on DRAGON. This upgrade will increase surveillance, communication, and navigation capabilities across the E-3 fleet,” Gaedecke said.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: DETERRENCE | A @usairforce B-52H Stratofortress, accompanied by four Saudi Arabian F-15C Eagles, conducts a low pass over Pri…
RT @AirmanMagazine: A B-2 Spirit from @Whiteman_AFB's 509th Bomb Wing sits on the flight line at Mo., Oct. 24, 2019. The B-2 Spirit is a mu…
So far more than $41k in bug bounties have been paid at @DefenseDigital’s & @Hacker0x01’s hack the #AirForce event… https://t.co/SwkdIr2Trz
RT @DeptofDefense: Marshmallow clouds ☁️ A @TeamBarksdale B-52 Stratofortress soars over the clouds and the Baltic Sea during a mission fo…
Earlier this week #DOD's service secretaries spent some time with @EsperDoD discussing #mil families. Get in on the… https://t.co/CPm4NFLYBg
.@EdwardsAFB bids farewell to six of its #F35 Lightning II's. Read on to find out what base they will now call hom… https://t.co/Gnc9JIaKfN
RT @AF_SMC: Did you miss Day 1 of #AFSpacePitchDay? We are breaking down barriers & creating new partnerships to connect the @usairforce w/…
#USAF presented its first big check at #AFSpacePitchDay. Read on to learn how this small business gained the award… https://t.co/zd3a6GXk2C
RT @AirmanMagazine: Nigerien Air Base 201 is the largest @usairforce-led construction project in recent history. The base will expand the A…
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thanks @AF_SMC for hosting #AFSpacePitchDay! Space is pivotal to national security & our way of life. The #USAF is focus…
RT @AirmanMagazine: Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16s assigned to the 331st Squadron, Bodø Air Force Base, Norway, fly next to a @usairforce
RT @ChiefSmc: Happy first day of #AFSpacePitchDay! Come visit our #SMC folks at the exhibit hall! #SpaceStartsHere #deftAF #digitalAF #disr
RT @thesheetztweetz: Musk: “A giant reusable craft costs much less than a small expendable craft.” Read more here, with reporting from @am
Non-traditional and small businesses are gathering now @AF_SMC for the #AFSpacePitchDay. Read on for more on how th… https://t.co/N2xbkc532k
RT @DepSecDef: Honored to welcome @SecAFOfficial Barbara M. Barrett as the 25th Secretary of the Air Force. Her leadership will help guide…
RT @AirNatlGuard: Gas! Gas! Gas! @104fighterwing Airmen tested their readiness to conduct operations in #MOPP gear during a CBRN exercise…
RT @AF_SMC: Join us LIVE at #AFSpacePitchDay from San Francisco! The feed will begin at 9 a.m. PT. #SpaceStartsHere https://t.co/l6UoyKQBp9
RT @AETCommand: #ICYMI: The @usairforce announced Oct. 30 it will implement the new Noncommissioned Officer Career Status Program for activ…
RT @AFWERX: "Our leaders have charged us with the duty of being open-minded to new suggestions and ways of doing things. Gone are the days…