The Boeing Company will provide the Commonwealth of Australia's Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) with an Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C)
system based on the Next-Generation 737-700 aircraft as the airborne platform. The program, named "Wedgetail" after our native eagle, provides a
total capability to the Commonwealth and consists of five segments: Airborne Mission Systems (AMS) AEW&C Support Facility (ASF) Operational Mission
Simulator (OMS) Operational Flight Trainer (OFT) Mission Support Segment (MSS) which also includes Initial Support Period (ISS) for operation,
maintenance and support plus through-life-support and the building to house the ground segments. The Boeing AEW&C Solution The AEW&C airborne system
combines the new high-performance Boeing 737-700 aircraft with the new technology Northrop Grumman Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA)
radar. Included in the platform are an advanced Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system; an expanded, passive electronic surveillance system; a
flexible, open-system architecture and a highly effective self-defence capability. The 737-700, which features state-of-the-art avionics, navigation
equipment and flight deck, is the most popular and reliable jet aircraft in the world. Airlines and operators have ordered more than 5000 with more
than 3100 having been delivered. This large in-service fleet is supported by a world-wide infrastructure of suppliers, parts and support equipment.
With its speed, extended range and ability to fly to altitudes of more than 40,000 feet, the Next-Generation 737-700 offers an ideal airborne early
warning and control platform. Using the latest sensor technology, Northrop Grumman's 360-degree electronically steerable beam MESA radar is able to
track air and sea targets simultaneously and can help the operator track high-performance aircraft while continuously scanning the operational area.
More than 600 hours of wind tunnel testing have demonstrated the compatibility of the aircraft and the radar. The 737 AEW&C platform, with its
advanced technology and interoperability with the E-3 and 767 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, is designed to fill the
airborne-surveillance needs of Australia and the world-wide market. Australia is the launch customer; the 737 AEW&C system has also been selected by
Turkey and a number of other proposals are in varying stages of maturity. For the Wedgetail Project, Boeing and Northrop Grumman are joined by BAE
SYSTEMS Australia, who will provide the passive surveillance system, electronic warfare self-protect system, operational mission simulator (OMS),
AEW&C support facility (ASF) and mission support segment (MSS). Boeing Australia's Involvement Boeing Australia has been involved in key roles
throughout the concept definition, proposal, tender and Initial Design Activity (IDA) phases of the project, commencing in 1996. As a result of the
Government's decision to in May 2004 to increase the total number of aircraft to six, the modification of four of these will now be completed by the
Boeing Aerospace Support Centre at Amberley, Queensland. The first of these aircraft arrived at Amberley in January 2006. Boeing Australia's
engineering staff are integrated within the Seattle-based Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) and form the core of the technical support organisation who
have responsibility for through-life support of the systems in Australia. Boeing Australia has wide logistics support responsibility (including
logistics support analysis, training and documentation) for the project with key logistics staff integrated into the Seattle IPTs. In summary, the key
areas of Boeing Australia's involvement are: Engineering Support Component Design & Manufacture Logistic Support Operational Flight Trainer AEW&C
Support Centre Initial Support
PROJECT Wedgetail, Australia's $3.5 billion airborne early warning project, is now officially running three years late.
Boeing confirmed yesterday that the first of the six planes would now be delivered in 2010 - 36 months behind schedule.
The Wedgetail project is designed to provide the RAAF with a highly sophisticated airborne surveillance system.
Royal Australian Air Force
Turkish Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
Seems boeing is having problems all around