UK airborne early warning programme approaches milestone
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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