According to a report by Reuters, senior officials warned that NATO faces significant costs if it fails to quickly choose a successor for its ageing fleet of 14 Boeing E-3A Airborne Warning and Control and System surveillance aircraft, often referred to as the alliance's 'eyes in the sky.' Michael Gschossmann, general manager of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization agency that manages the AWACS fleet, said that it was critical to decide quickly how to replace the 1980-era airplanes, or NATO would need to take costly measures to keep them flying longer. Gschossmann also said that he expected to finalize by December a $750 million contract with U.S. arms maker Boeing Co to extend the life of the aircraft through 2035, with $250 million more earmarked for design, spare parts and testing.


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