Boeing lands first Air Force contract for E-7A Wedgetails

E7-A Wedgetail

A Royal Australian Air Force Boeing E-7A Wedgetail at the 2018 Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire, U.K. The U.S. Air Force plans to acquire 26 Wedgetails to replace the aging E-3 Sentry (AWACS). [STOCK IMAGE] 


The U.S. Air Force announced it has awarded Boeing its first contract for the planned acquisition of E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.   


The initial contract is worth up to $1.2 billion and will allow Boeing to begin work on the first aircraft of the fleet. The Air Force plans to acquire 26 E-7A aircraft altogether to replace the aging E-3 Sentry (AWACS), which has been in service since the 1970s.  


The Air Force announced its intention to acquire the E-7A in April 2022. 


The E-7A Wedgetail is a modernized AEW&C aircraft based on the 737 Next Generation airframe that was developed for the Royal Australian Air Force. AEW&Cs are designed to detect and track airborne targets and provide command-and-control and battle management functions to assist military personnel.  


In addition to the Royal Australian Air Force, the Wedgetail is also fielded by South Korea and Turkey, with pending acquisitions by the U.K. and U.S.  


The first rapid prototype E-7A is expected to be delivered to the U.S. Air Force in 2027.  


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