The U.S. Air Power is wanting Down Beneath because it prepares to ditch the workhorse however growing older fleet of E-3 Sentry airborne warning and management system plane, popularly referred to as AWACS. The surveillance planes have been used for many years in campaigns huge and small to observe patrol and monitor massive sections of airspace and coordinate air, sea and land forces in battle
The E-3 Sentry, a modified Boeing 707 industrial airframe with a rotating radar dome, has been utilized by the Air Power because the late Nineteen Seventies. The service has now chosen the E-7 Wedgetail, additionally made by Boeing and first utilized by the Australian Air Power, as a alternative.
“The Boeing E-7 is the one platform able to assembly the necessities for the Protection Division’s tactical battle administration, command and management, and shifting goal indication capabilities inside the timeframe wanted to exchange the growing older E-3,” Air Power officers mentioned Tuesday in an announcement.
President Biden’s FY 2023 price range contains $227 million in analysis and growth funding to assist the acquisition of a “speedy prototype plane” by 2027, officers mentioned.
The U.S. Air Power nonetheless has 31 E-3 AWACS airplanes within the fleet. It plans to divest about half and redirect the funding in direction of procuring and fielding the alternative system. A second speedy prototype is deliberate for supply in FY 2027.
Not like the E-3 Sentry’s rotating radar dome, the Wedgetail makes use of an “energetic electronically scanned array radar mounted” in a blade-like construction on the again of a 737 airframe.
The navies of South Korea, the UK and Turkey are searching for their very own copies of the plane.