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Boeing E-7 Wedgetail

Australia (2009)
Picture of Boeing E-7 Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Aircraft

The Boeing E-7 Wedgetail AEW platform is built on the existing framework of the Boeing 737-700 airliner and extensively modified to suite its intended role.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing E-7 Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 10/23/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Boeing E-7A "Wedgetail" serves several modern air powers of the world in the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) role, helping to manage active battle spaces (at the tactical level) while having the capability to scan some millions of square miles of terrain in a single sortie. The aircraft, developed under "Project Wedgetail" for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), is built upon the existing proven framework of the Boeing 737-700 (Next Generation), a twin-engine narrow-body commercial passenger airliner introduced in 1968. Fully modernized, this aircraft is further outfitted with advanced electronics and systems for the AEW&C role.

After achieving a first-flight in 2004, the E-7A was introduced into service with the RAAF during 2009. A total of fourteen aircraft of the series have been built to date (2017) and these are actively operated by the RAAF, the Turkish Air Force (as the "Peace Eagle") and the Rebublic of Korean Air Force (South Korea) (as the "Peace Eye").

Seated over the dorsal aft spine of the aircraft is the Northrop Grumman Multirole, Electronically-Scanned Array (MESA) radar system which allows for simultaneous tracking and scanning of multiple airborne and ground targets, this information being made available to air and ground commanders. The radar system is affixed atop its mounting structure ahead of the tail fin and is static (non-rotating). With this equipment giving the platform an inherent capability unavailable to traditional combat aircraft, the aircraft can serve all branches of a given military as its "eyes in the skies". Beyond communication with other like-aircraft, the platform is also seamlessly integrated into the existing communications pipelines allowing coordination with interceptors, strike aircraft and aerial tankers. Beyond its given military roles, the aircraft is also valuable in the Search and Rescue (SAR) role when scanning vast amounts of ocean terrain is needed. Internally, the passenger section showcases ten crew consoles and can sustain mission flights up to ten hours in duration. A base operating crew is two pilots while mission specialists and electronics analysts manage the onboard equipment.
The aircraft sports an overall length of 110.3 feet, a height of 41.1 feet and a wingspan of 117 feet. Empty weight is 102,750lb against an MTOW of 171,000lb. Power is from 2 x CFM International CFM56-7B27A turbofan engines developing 27,000lb of thrust each. Performance includes a cruising speed of 530 miles per hour, a range out to 3,500 nautical miles and a service ceiling up to 41,000 feet.

The RAAF originally ordered four Wedgetails with an option for a further three and the first examples arrived in 2006. Two of the option aircraft have since been acted on. Though continuously delayed, some six operate with the service out of RAAF Base Williamtown. The first combat-related sortie for RAAF Wedgetails was in October of 2014 over Iraq against elements of ISIS (Islamic State). Official Final Operational Capability (FOC) was granted for the fleet in May of 2015.

The Turkish Air Force recognizes the E-7A Wedgetail under the "Peace Eagle" name and is detailed elsewhere on this site. Four such aircraft make up its active fleet (2017).

South Korea ordered four Wedgetails for delivery in 2012 under the name of "Peace Eye". The first arrived in August of 2011 and the last delivered in 2012.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (593mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Boeing E-7A Wedgetail's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
14
14


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: Australia
Year: 2009
Type: Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Boeing Australia - Australia
Production: 14
Status: Active, In-Service
Global Operators:
Australia
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Boeing E-7A Wedgetail model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
12


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
110.24 ft


Meters
33.6 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
116.99 ft


Meters
35.66 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
41.34 ft


Meters
12.6 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
102,746 lb


Kilograms
46,605 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
171,002 lb


Kilograms
77,565 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x CFM International CFM56-7 (CFM56-7B27A) turbofan engines developing 27,300lb of thrust each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
593 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
955 kph


Knots
516 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
4,374 mi


Kilometers
7,040 km


Nautical Miles
3,801 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
41,010 ft


Meters
12,500 m


Miles
7.77 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None. Special mission equipment carried related to the AEW role.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• E-7 "Wedgetail" - Base Series Designation
• E-7A "Wedgetail" - RAAF designation
• "Peace Eagle" - Turkish Air Force designation
• "Peace Eye" South Korean Air Force designation