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PACAF Calls for E-7s to Replace E-3 AWACS

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PACAF Calls for E-7s to Replace E-3 AWACS

Old 25th Feb 2021, 09:23
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PACAF Calls for E-7s to Replace E-3 AWACS

https://www.airforcemag.com/pacaf-bo...ing-e-3-awacs/

PACAF Boss Calls for E-7s to Replace Aging E-3 AWACS

The head of Pacific Air Forces is calling for new aircraft in his theater to meet the need for air superiority, including a quick short-term replacement for aging airborne warning and control aircraft and, in the future, the service’s next generation fighter.

PACAF boss Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach told reporters during the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium he is advocating for the Air Force to quickly procure the E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft, the Boeing 737-based aircraft already in use by Australia and South Korea to replace aging E-3 Sentrys that have struggled to get in the air.

“The fact is, we actually need something relatively quick because of the reliability of the E-3,” Wilsbach said. “It gets harder and harder to get airborne.”

The Air Force’s E-3 AWACS is based on the older Boeing 707. There have been recent upgrades, and the fleet is expected to fly into the 2030s, though Wilsbach said “it’s challenged at the moment because of how old it is.”

Within the Pacific, PACAF will be tasked with fighting in anti-access, area-denial areas set up by adversaries, which would require both takedowns of surface-to-air missiles and taking away an enemy’s air-to-air capability. The modernized E-7 would help with domain awareness, and then PACAF would need an advanced fighter to complete the missions.

To that end, Wilsbach said he is advocating for the Air Force’s future Next Generation Air Dominance platform and its advanced weapons “so that we can stay relevant as our adversaries continue to advance.”

“Air superiority is foundational to most other things that we would want to be able to do in our theater,” he said. “Because if you don’t have air superiority, then most everything else that you want to do is really held at risk.”
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 08:04
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Easy as they could grab a couple of E-7's that the RAF thinks it doesn't need...
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 08:57
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I believe there are a few 737 Max airframes going spare.
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 09:14
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Pity they're not build on a Max frame but a B737-700NG with big wings
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Old 10th Mar 2021, 07:51
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I'm sure Mr B would be happy to offer them an upgrade - at a price of course.................
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Old 10th Mar 2021, 17:31
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Originally Posted by TBM-Legend View Post
Pity they're not build on a Max frame but a B737-700NG with big wings
Sorry to be anal, but not "big wings", they are -800 wings. Same size and planform but strengthened for a higher gross weight.
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Old 10th Mar 2021, 23:59
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
Sorry to be anal, but not "big wings", they are -800 wings. Same size and planform but strengthened for a higher gross weight.

I just checked with a friend at Boeing Australia here in Brisbane who writes the technical manuals for the E-7A program and he said they internally refer to the structure as the 700 [BBJ] with the big wing off the 800
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Old 11th Mar 2021, 18:14
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Originally Posted by TBM-Legend View Post
I just checked with a friend at Boeing Australia here in Brisbane who writes the technical manuals for the E-7A program and he said they internally refer to the structure as the 700 [BBJ] with the big wing off the 800
Well they may call it 'big wing' - but physically it's the same size, just stronger.
BTW, the 737-700 BBJ already has the -800 wing structure (to give higher gross weights and longer range compared to the standard -700).
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Old 7th Sep 2021, 06:37
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https://www.defensenews.com/digital-...ombat-command/

Four questions with the head of Air Combat Command

…..If anybody asked me what’s my priority in the ISR portfolio, I have to say the AWACS. We frankly have to be wide-eyed. We have to acknowledge that unlike our closest treaty allies — the Australians and the [U.K. Royal Air Force]— we do not field a cutting-edge, air moving target indicator, or AMTI, capability like they do with their E-7A Wedgetail.

In my opinion, you’re not a true fifth-gen Air Force until your fifth-gen fighters have fifth-gen weapons and fifth-gen sensing, like an AMTI [aircraft] to go with them. We’ve got to make sure we’ve got the surveillance piece and the weapons piece to go with our platform piece.

Other Air Force officials advocated for the service to buy Wedgetail, but the necessary funding never ended up in the budget. Meanwhile, the AWACS inventory is only getting older. How long can the service go without replacing AWACS?

…..We are in the single-digit number of years before that airplane votes with its wings and votes with its metal structure that it’s just not viable to operate and sustain any longer.

To your point about Wedgetail, I frankly don’t know exactly where our budgets are going to fall when it hits the reality of what we actually have [available]. But I can tell you unambiguously that it stays pretty much close to my No. 1 requirement as a force provider.
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Old 21st Oct 2021, 19:57
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Basically a sole source contract has been issued to boeing to study if and what modification would be required on the wedgetail to meet baseline for american service

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/10/...-7a-wedgetail/




WASHINGTON: The US Air Force plans to award Boeing a contract for analysis of the E-7A Wedgetail as it considers buying the aircraft to replace its aging E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS) planes.

According to an Oct. 19 notice posted on SAM.gov, the service will “award a sole source Time and Materials (T&M) contract to The Boeing Company to perform studies, analyses, and activities required to ascertain the current E-7A baseline configuration and determine what additional work the government might need to accomplish meeting USAF configuration standards and mandates.”
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Old 21st Oct 2021, 21:33
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It’d be a nice change for the RAAF crews to be offering training for the USAF crews. (Lots of assumptions there of course)
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Old 22nd Oct 2021, 07:31
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"The US Air Force plans to award Boeing a contract for analysis of the E-7A Wedgetail" - why not just talk to them directly?

And what are the short term alternatives??
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Old 22nd Oct 2021, 07:51
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The E-7 is at the top of the tree, The yanks are well acquainted with it and speak very highly.

Of course they have to give Boeing money. Don't you still have to pay a working-girl, even if you just want to talk?
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Old 22nd Oct 2021, 09:16
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"The US Air Force plans to award Boeing a contract for analysis of the E-7A Wedgetail" - why not just talk to them directly?

And what are the short term alternatives??
They dont do anything for free, but said it might be a we will pay you million to do this report if we decide not to go ahead you get the money, if we decide to go ahead that amount is the down payment. I have seen this in contacts before, not at this scale but still a million or 2 type stuff

As to short term alternatives going to guess nothing in the same class as E-3 and E-7. Theres Erieye mounted on a embraer 145 or global 6000. India were going to do Erieye on an A330 but that died a death.

Really options are a E-7, Clean sheet or E-3 life extensions

Also from what I understand australia gets a cut of all E-7 sales so could be good if the yanks buy some it might bring some other countries out of the woodwork to buy some to replace thier E-3's
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Old 22nd Oct 2021, 10:15
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India were going to do Erieye on an A330 but that died a death.
Changed to using an Airbus 319.

https://www.aviacionline.com/2021/09...the-air-force/
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Old 22nd Oct 2021, 17:02
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Originally Posted by golder View Post
Of course they have to give Boeing money. Don't you still have to pay a working-girl, even if you just want to talk?
The UK AWACS support experience was once described to me as: (Phone rings) "Hello? Boeing here. That will be 1 million dollars, please. What is your question?"

This may explain why the contract eventually went to Northrop Grumman.
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Old 22nd Oct 2021, 21:24
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Originally Posted by Fortissimo View Post
The UK AWACS support experience was once described to me as: (Phone rings) "Hello? Boeing here. That will be 1 million dollars, please. What is your question?"

This may explain why the contract eventually went to Northrop Grumman.
Supposedly that all changed when Condit became CEO (1994 IIRC). Before that, Boeing almost gave away the post-sale support (which was a major reason why operators loved Boeing). Condit decided that post-sale support should be a 'profit center' - and started charging big bucks for what had formerly been free or very inexpensive. Funny thing, many customer airlines who had been long time Boeing only suddenly started talking to Airbus.
In the late 1990s, UPS (who was operating new build 767F and 757F) surprisingly announced a big order for A300 freighters. Boeing issued a press release that said Airbus had basically given the aircraft away to keep the A300 line open. UPS responded that 'Yes, we got a real good price, but we're so mad at Boeing right now that we would have picked Airbus even if it was more expensive'
Sadly, Condit and Stonecypher didn't get the message, and continued down that road (they even started charging for the Everett factory tour - which had been free for decades - the tour center also had to be a 'profit center') - which is how Boeing ended up in the mess it's currently in.
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Old 22nd Oct 2021, 22:34
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Salute!

Thanks for the insight, TD.
===============
I like the idea of the new AWACS, mainly for the cosmic radar. The sucker looks like slow F-35, but has acquisiiton and tracking of both air and ground tgts the E-3 has not dreamed of.. Didn't realize how good it was/is.

Gums sends...


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Old 22nd Oct 2021, 22:44
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
Supposedly that all changed when Condit became CEO (1994 IIRC). Before that, Boeing almost gave away the post-sale support (which was a major reason why operators loved Boeing). Condit decided that post-sale support should be a 'profit center' - and started charging big bucks for what had formerly been free or very inexpensive. Funny thing, many customer airlines who had been long time Boeing only suddenly started talking to Airbus.
In the late 1990s, UPS (who was operating new build 767F and 757F) surprisingly announced a big order for A300 freighters. Boeing issued a press release that said Airbus had basically given the aircraft away to keep the A300 line open. UPS responded that 'Yes, we got a real good price, but we're so mad at Boeing right now that we would have picked Airbus even if it was more expensive'
Sadly, Condit and Stonecypher didn't get the message, and continued down that road (they even started charging for the Everett factory tour - which had been free for decades - the tour center also had to be a 'profit center') - which is how Boeing ended up in the mess it's currently in.
When accountants start to run a company, they only think of bottom line in short term.
No concept of long term profitability.
So many examples of disastrous medium term consequences for the company and shareholders.
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Old 23rd Oct 2021, 07:21
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https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/st...d-allies-alike

The Boeing 737 AEW&C is a state-of-the-art system providing powerful airborne surveillance, communications and battle management.

The 737 AEW&C system encompasses both the Boeing 737-700 aircraft platform and a variety of aircraft control and advanced radar systems. Consisting of components created by Boeing and Northrop Grumman, the 737 AEW&C represents the standard for future airborne early warning systems. The E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C functions include:
  • A steerable beam, L-band, electronically scanned array that provides optimal performance in range, tracking and accuracy;
  • Radar that can track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously;
  • Assistance to the mission crew in directing the control of high-performance fighter aircraft while continuously scanning the operational area;
  • A "top hat" portion that provides a practical solution for fore and aft coverage while maintaining the low drag profile of the dorsal array system – enabling the MESA system to be installed on the mid-size 737-700 platform without significant impact to aircraft performance;
  • An integrated identification friend or foe (IFF) function that shares the primary radar arrays to reduce weight, improve reliability and simplify target correlation; and
  • Advanced open-system architecture with standards-based design for cost-effective integration and add-on flexibility.
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