UK Defence Secretary signs multi-billion-pound deal to purchase five E-7 early warning radar aircraft
|UK Defence Secretary signs multi-billion-pound deal to purchase five E-7 early warning radar aircraft.|
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has signed a $1.98Bn (£1.51Bn) deal to purchase five E-7 Wedgetail aircraft. The E-7 fleet will replace the current E-3D Sentry aircraft and ensure the continued delivery of the UK’s Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) capability. We had already annunced the UK's interest in the aircraft in a previous article.Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“The E-7 provides a technological edge in an increasingly complex battlespace, allowing our pilots to track and target adversaries more effectively than ever. This deal also strengthens our vital military partnership with Australia.
“We will operate the same state-of-the-art F-35 jets and world-class Type-26 warships, and this announcement will help us work even more closely together to tackle the global threats we face.”
“Today’s announcement about the procurement of five E-7 ‘Wedgetail’ Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft is excellent news for both the RAF and wider Defence. This world-class capability, already proven with our Royal Australian Air Force partners, will significantly enhance our ability to deliver decisive airborne command and control and builds on the reputation of our E-3D Sentry Force.
“Along with Defence’s investment in other cutting-edge aircraft, E-7 will form a core element of the Next Generation Air Force, able to overcome both current and future complex threats.”
The E-7 is based on a standard Boeing 737 airliner modified to carry a sophisticated Northrop Grumman active electronically-scanned radar. This can cover four million square kilometres over a 10-hour period.
Source, Image: RAF