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Air Warfare

UK airborne early warning programme approaches milestone

8th April 2021 - 11:36 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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STS Aviation Services is converting three ex-commercial B-737s to the E-7A Wedgetail Mk1 configuration for the RAF. (Photo: Boeing UK)

Military Aviation Authority clears STS and Boeing to begin Wedgetail conversion.

STS Aviation Services is about to begin conversion work in Birmingham on the first new E-7A Wedgetail Mk1 AEW&C aircraft for the RAF, Boeing UK announced via social media on 6 April.

The statement came after the Military Aviation Authority in the UK MoD gave the green light for STS and Boeing to modify three B-737 commercial aircraft.

Wedgetail is expected to enter service with the RAF in 2023, two years after the E-3D Sentry retires from service.

As noted by Shephard Defence Insight, the UK ordered five aircraft for $1.98 million in March 2019 with a predicted out-of-service date of 2045.

However, the MoD cut this requirement in its 22 March Command Paper, which mentioned a ‘more modern and more capable fleet of three E-7A Wedgetail [aircraft] in 2023’.

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