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US Air Force selects Boeing E-7 Wedgetail to replace E-3 Sentry AWACS fleet.

| 2022

Based on market research, the U.S. Air Force has decided to replace a portion of its Boeing E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System fleet with the Boeing E-7 Wedgetail. A contract award is planned for the fiscal year 2023.

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US Air Force selects Boeing E 7 Wedgetail to replace E 3 Sentry AWACS fleet  Boeing E-7 Wedgetail AWACS  (Picture source: Royal Australian Air Force)

The USAF states that the Boeing E-7 is the only platform capable of meeting the requirements for the Defense Department’s tactical battle management, command and control and moving target indication capabilities within the timeframe needed to replace the aging E-3.

The FY23 President’s Budget request includes $227 million in Research, Development, Test and Evaluation funds starting in FY23. These funds support the acquisition of a rapid prototype aircraft planned to deliver in FY27.

The notional schedule plans for a second rapid prototype aircraft funded in FY24, and a production decision in FY25 to continue fielding aircraft.

The FY23 PB proposes a partial divestment of the E-3 AWACS fleet, 15 of 31 aircraft, and redirects funding to procure and field its replacement.

The E-7 system was developed by Australia for the Australian Defence Forces. The unbreakable U.S. and Australia alliance and interoperability amongst the armed services enabled the Department of the Air Force to leverage this considerable investment and exceptional capability.

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