USAF Selects Boeing’s E-7A Wedgetail as Successor to AWACS

The Air Pressure chosen Boeing to develop its E-7A future airborne battle administration plane, with an preliminary contract not-to-exceed $1.2 billion to begin work on a prototype. Manufacturing of an Air Pressure-specific model of the jet is to start in 2025, the Air Pressure mentioned Feb. 28.

The E-7A “will present superior Airborne Transferring Goal Indication and Battle Administration, Command and Management capabilities, and superior Multi-Function Electronically Scanned Array radar that enhances airborne battle administration and allows long-range kill chains with potential peer adversaries,” the Air Pressure mentioned.

The primary E-7A is to be prepared for operational responsibility by 2027, the Air Pressure mentioned. It expects to purchase 24 extra E-7As by 2032, with a ultimate anticipated stock of 26 plane. No E-7A funding was included in USAF’s finances two years in the past; some cuts in different packages could also be wanted to fund the venture.

“We carried out an intensive evaluation of viable business choices to make sure the chosen E-3 substitute might meet the precise wants of the U.S.,” Air Pressure acquisition govt Andrew Hunter mentioned in a press launch.

The Air Pressure will retain its E-3 AWACS till the E-7A is fielded, he added.

“The fast prototyping program will combine U.S.-based mission methods into the prevailing airborne platform to fulfill DAF necessities whereas concurrently guaranteeing interoperability with coalition and allied companions already working the E-7A,” a service spokesperson reported.

The E-7A was initially developed for Australia, and has additionally been adopted by the U.Okay. By leveraging allied funding within the E-7A, the U.S. goals to amass the brand new AWACS replacements extra shortly than would in any other case be potential.

The Air Pressure’s ageing and deteriorating 707-based E-3B/G airborne warning and management system (AWACS) plane are more and more tough to maintain flying with mission succesful charges plunging to beneath 60 % lately.

The brand new plane will likely be USAF’s “principal airborne sensor for detecting, figuring out, monitoring, and reporting all airborne exercise to Joint Pressure Commanders,” Hunter mentioned in a press assertion.

“This contract award is a essential step in guaranteeing that the Division continues delivering battle house
consciousness and administration capabilities to U.S. warfighters, allies and companions for the subsequent a number of a long time,” he mentioned. “The E-7A will allow better airborne battlespace consciousness by way of its exact, real-time air image and can have the ability to management and direct particular person plane beneath a variety of environmental and operational situations.”

The Air Pressure is constant modernization of the E-3 to fulfill the service’s obligations beneath the 2022 Nationwide Protection Technique, the service mentioned, and can proceed to supply “worldwide Battle Administration  Command and Management and Airborne Transferring Goal Indication Operations as required,” it mentioned.

The Air Pressure plans to deal with each the airborne and floor shifting goal indication missions with space-based belongings a decade sooner or later, and is now growing the required constellations to make that migration potential.

Saab had supplied an AWACS resolution with its GlobalEye platform. No different offerors had been deemed able to assembly USAF’s want on the specified timetable.