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UK orders Boeing E7...

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UK orders Boeing E7...

Old 20th Jul 2022, 14:42
  #181 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Piccy is of the aircraft being delivered to Birmingham where all of the faults you mention will be rectified.

Sheez…
Not to mention fitting the picnic table which was a more obvious omission from the initial delivery standard than the windows and antenna.

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Old 20th Jul 2022, 16:46
  #182 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ETOPS View Post
First airframe delivered to BHX
As STS are already working on the other two I think you'll find it's the third and currently final one. Allegedly they will be serials WT001-003.

N946BC c/n 38633 delivered 06Jan2021
N947BC c/n 40117 delivered 16Sep2021

According to flightglobal (RAF, Boeing detail E-7A Wedgetail conversion progress as third aircraft arrives - 16 July):
  • Boeing UK Defence MD Anna Keeling stated the first airframe has received over 100,000 'labour touch hours'
  • SRO for Wedgetail & Poseidon Air Commodore Alex Hicks is reported as saying:
    • Mirroring the 'Seedcorn' activities prior to P-8, 21 RAF personnel have been embeded with RAAF Wedgetail operations, the first of whom are back in the UK working towards the design test and evaluation, and operational test and evaluation.
    • Ground testing of the first UK MESA sensor is going well in Balitmore, MD
    • 'Noting that the decision to reduce the E-7 fleet to just three aircraft - made as part of a defence review last year - was wholly "a ministerial decision" made prior to the current crisis in Ukraine, Hicks says:"I absolutely will be putting in a bid to buy additional assets. "I'd like five - I'd like six actually, he adds, while describing the UK reinstating its lapsed AEW capability as being "important to national security".

Last edited by SLXOwft; 20th Jul 2022 at 17:22. Reason: spelling
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 17:07
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=SLXOwft;'labour touch hours'[/QUOTE]

Please tell us you've made that up!
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 17:19
  #184 (permalink)  
 
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I wish I were that inventive - I'm still sniggering ... Woketale AEW Mk.1.
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 17:57
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Originally Posted by esscee View Post
Very interesting read and background info in the attached Transcript pdf.
That's now a dead link and needs the wayback. The E-7a is serious bit of kit.
https://web.archive.org/web/20200413...Transcript.pdf
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 19:08
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First E-7 back in April 2021

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Old 20th Jul 2022, 19:59
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CAEBr View Post
Not to mention fitting the picnic table which was a more obvious omission from the initial delivery standard than the windows and antenna.

The picnic table IS the antenna…
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 20:48
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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The E-7/P-8 line is going to be getting busy - the USAF has also selected the Wedgetail as their replacement AWACS aircraft.

US Air Force says options limited for speeding deliveries of Wedgetail (yahoo.com)
The Air Force in April chose the Boeing-made Wedgetail to be its next battle management and command and control aircraft, replacing part of its aging E-3 Airborne Warning and Control fleet. But the service said in the announcement the first rapid prototype E-7 would be delivered in fiscal 2027, following a contract award to Boeing in fiscal 2023.
Note that the E-7/P-8 is a separate line from the commercial 737s. All the commercial 737s now being built are MAX aircraft, while the E-7/P-8 are based on the NG and is segregated and under ITAR control.
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Old 21st Jul 2022, 12:52
  #189 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Possibly the Wedgie here, as there are bound to be cracks appear

Just let's hope we have sufficent numbers in place to fly them. mind you it makes leaving for Queasyjet etc much smoother having 737 experience
Not a possibility for an all-Airbus outfit.
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 18:56
  #190 (permalink)  
 
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Just a thought, as a taxpayer and aviation enthusiast. If the USAF are buying the E&, might we buy a couple more as well?
Might save a few quid on conversion costs etc
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 08:36
  #191 (permalink)  
 
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Just a thought looking at the piccy of Lincoln Cathedral and the two engined aircraft superimposed there on (and which might already have been mentioned) Am I right in presuming none of our tankers can refuel the Wedgetail which appears to require a tanker with a flying boom?

A342
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 09:12
  #192 (permalink)  
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You don’t have to have your own, the is a NATO AAR reciprocal agreement - as there is between the U.K. and USA for the RAF Rivet Joint aircraft to utilise the US Mildenhall based tankers.



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Old 25th Jul 2022, 14:04
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by bobward View Post
Just a thought, as a taxpayer and aviation enthusiast. If the USAF are buying the E&, might we buy a couple more as well?
Might save a few quid on conversion costs etc
Air Commodore Hicks was quoted last week as saying he wanted another three

https://www.flightglobal.com/defence...149398.article

Some interesting comments about the updates they had to make to the radar due to obsolescence

he UK’s third and currently final Boeing 737NG acquired for conversion into the E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning (AEW) configuration for the Royal Air Force (RAF) has arrived in the country.

Speaking at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) on 15 July, Boeing Defence UK managing director Anna Keeling announced that the new-build narrowbody had arrived at the Birmingham airport facility of conversion partner STS Aviation the previous evening.

It joins two secondhand airframes which are already at the site undergoing what Keeling describes as “complex, heavy modification work”. She notes that the lead airframe has received 100,000 labour touch hours since last September, including removing and strengthening the fuselage’s Section 46 to bear the weight of the Wedgetail’s signature Northrop Grumman MESA multi-role electronically scanned array radar.

The process also has included drilling more than 30,000 holes, modifying 150-plus wiring harnesses and installing 1,000 new ones, Keeling says.

The RAF, meanwhile, used RIAT’s opening day to reveal its updated livery for the Wedgetail AEW1, depicting an aircraft with the registration WT001. Its tail will feature the Jambiya dagger insignia of the service’s 8 Sqn – which until last year operated the Boeing E-3D Sentry – and the NATO AEW Force shield is adorned near its nose.

Air Commodore Alex Hicks, senior responsible owner for the RAF’s Wedgetail and 737-based P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime patrol aircraft programmes, says the new AEW capability should achieve initial operational capability (IOC) status in 2024.

Hicks notes the challenges which have been faced during the acquisition process: the initially planned five-strong fleet was trimmed to just three airframes, and the type’s future home was changed post-contract award from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire to Lossiemouth in Scotland.

“For a period of 18 months that distracted everybody,” he says. A schedule risk assessment activity will be conducted with Boeing over the next couple of months, with this to define a firm delivery schedule, IOC and full operational capability dates for the new system.

Northrop is currently conducting ground-based testing of the first UK MESA sensor in Baltimore, Maryland. “The tests are going well,” Hicks says. “The capability that [sensor] offers us in the air C2 [command and control] domain is really unprecedented.” It will soon be shipped to the UK for integration with the lead airframe in Birmingham.

Noting that the company had not built a MESA radar for 10 years prior to receiving the contract for the UK, he says: “There were significant obsolescence issues that Northrop Grumman had to overcome.” This included the need to replace older technology previously produced as line replaceable units with single electronic cards. “It has been modernised in multiple places,” he says.

Initial operational capability for UK’s 737NG-based E-7A is expected during 2024

Mirroring its previous effort to retain vital skills in the maritime patrol realm before the P-8A’s introduction, the RAF is running a so-called ‘Seedcorn’ AEW activity. This has seen 21 of its personnel embedded with the Royal Australian Air Force, where they are gaining experience on operating and maintaining the Wedgetail.

“We have got the first of those [personnel] back in-country now, and they are helping us start to think about how we are going to do the design, test and evaluation of the platform, and operational test and evaluation,” Hicks says.

Noting that the decision to reduce the E-7 fleet to just three aircraft – made as part of a defence review last year – was wholly “a ministerial decision” made prior to the current crisis in Ukraine, Hicks says: “I absolutely will be putting a bid in to buy additional assets.

“I’d like five – I’d like six, actually,” he adds, while describing the UK reinstating its lapsed AEW capability as being “important to national security”.

Operations with the RAF’s future Wedgetail fleet are currently planned to run until at least 2042, but Hicks sees strong potential for further sales and development of the platform, which also today is flown by the air forces of South Korea and Turkey. With the US Air Force (USAF) having earlier this year selected the type to replace its aged E-3s, he thinks NATO could follow suit when acquiring a “bridging” replacement for its 14-strong Airborne Warning and Control System fleet.

With an eye to future cooperation, Hicks says USAF personnel “will be on board” when the RAF conducts design, test and evaluation-phase assessments of its new surveillance type.

Last edited by Davef68; 25th Jul 2022 at 15:20.
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 16:57
  #194 (permalink)  
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Why has it got a City of Lincoln crest when they’re going to be based at Lossie? Did no one tell the CGI artist? What are the odds that it’ll arrive in Scotland before anyone notices?
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Old 26th Jul 2022, 08:29
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MG View Post
Why has it got a City of Lincoln crest when they’re going to be based at Lossie? Did no one tell the CGI artist? What are the odds that it’ll arrive in Scotland before anyone notices?
It was originally meant to be based at Waddington as part of the ISR Wing, but that plan was later changed to Lossie.
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Old 26th Jul 2022, 10:17
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Originally Posted by MG View Post
Why has it got a City of Lincoln crest when they’re going to be based at Lossie? Did no one tell the CGI artist? What are the odds that it’ll arrive in Scotland before anyone notices?
Latest images have removed that


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