The RAF’s E-3 Sentry airborne early warning aircraft fleet has now been retired with their replacement not due until 2023.

The UK will rely on the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force to plug the gap.

In August, a Boeing E-3D Sentry has returned to its home base at RAF Waddington following its final mission on Operation SHADER, bringing to a close 30 years of operational service. The Royal Air Force say here in a news release:

“The E-3D Sentry aircraft flew its final operational sortie on the 30th July over Iraq as part of the counter-Daesh Operation SHADER. The aircraft from 8 Squadron had been deployed to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and was the latest and last deployment since 2015. The aircraft returned to RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire on 4th August and was greeted by Air Vice-Marshal Al Marshall, the Air Officer Commanding Number 1 Group and also Major General Thomas Kunkel United Stated Air Force Commanding Officer of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Sea Control Force.”

Describing the aircraft’s lengthy service, the Commander of the Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting and Reconnaissance Force, Air Commodore Hay Commander said:

“Sentry’s return from a hugely successful overseas deployment heralds a fitting end to over 30 years of continuous service in support of NATO, other coalition and national operations.  Whether operating from their home base at Waddington or airfields from across Europe and the broader Middle East, Sentry has contributed by providing a Recognised Air and Maritime Picture that has enabled others to operate with significant freedom of action against the most hostile of threats.”

The Royal Air Force say that during the period between retirement and the Wedgetail becoming operational, the Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting and Reconnaissance requirements will be covered by a combination of other aircraft and E-3s from the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force.

What is the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force?

Under NATO Allied Air Command’s operational control, the Airborne Early Warning and Control Force operates a fleet of Boeing E-3A ‘Sentry’ Airborne Warning & Control System aircraft, better known as AWACS. These aircraft provide members with an immediately available air and maritime surveillance as well as airborne command and control and air battle management capability.

NATO say on their website that the Airborne Early Warning and Control Force is “the Alliance’s largest collaborative venture”.

“A venture that exemplifies NATO’s ability to facilitate multinational cooperation and to exploit the benefits of that the pooling of resources can bring.”

Further confirmation of this came recently thanks to a written Parliamentary question.

Mark Francois, Member of Parliament for Rayleigh and Wickford, asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the date on which the (a) last E-3D sentry aircraft will be retired from operational service and (b) first E-7 Wedgetail will achieve initial operating capacity in Royal Air Force service.”

Jeremy Quin, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, responded today:

“We will retire the E-3D Sentry from operational service later in 2021, as part of the transition to the more modern and more capable fleet of three E-7 Wedgetail aircraft, which are expected to enter service in December 2023. The United Kingdom remains part of the NATO AEW&C Force Headquarters.”

An E-7 Wedgetail of the Royal Australian Air Force. Photo by Bidgee [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons.
Wedgetail (pictured above) is an airborne early warning and control system, commonly known as AWACs or AEW&C. They are designed to track multiple targets at sea or in the air over a considerable area for long periods of time.

This aircraft is replacing the E-3D Sentry, pictured below.

FILE PHOTO: E-3D Sentry

What is the status of Wedgetail?

The UK recently cut its order for five E-7 aircraft to three. The Defence Command Paper released earlier in the year, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age‘, states:

“We will retire the E 3D Sentry in 2021, as part of the transition to the more modern and more capable fleet of three E 7A Wedgetail in 2023. The E 7A will transform our UK Airborne Early Warning and Control capability and the UK’s contribution to NATO. The nine P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft will help to secure our seas. The introduction into service of the 16 long range Protector remotely piloted systems will be the backbone of persistent, multi spectral surveillance, with the ability to strike and act decisively against our potential adversaries around the globe.”

You can read more about that here. You can also read more about the status of the first E-7 for the Royal Air Force by clicking here or clicking the link below.

First UK E-7 Wedgetail ready for conversion work

What is the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force?

Under NATO Allied Air Command’s operational control, the Airborne Early Warning and Control Force operates a fleet of Boeing E-3A ‘Sentry’ Airborne Warning & Control System aircraft, better known as AWACS. These aircraft provide members with an immediately available air and maritime surveillance as well as airborne command and control and air battle management capability.

NATO say on their website that the Airborne Early Warning and Control Force is “the Alliance’s largest collaborative venture”.

“A venture that exemplifies NATO’s ability to facilitate multinational cooperation and to exploit the benefits of that the pooling of resources can bring.”

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Quentin D63
Quentin D63
14 days ago

Can I ask the silly question first….why not retire the E-3D Sentry once the E-7 Wedgetails are on the tarmac and ready to go? What or who is going to take up the slack in the 1-2 years between?

Ian M
Ian M
14 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

From Georges article para 7 I believe:
The Royal Air Force say that during the period between retirement and the Wedgetail becoming operational, the Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting and Reconnaissance requirements will be covered by a combination of other aircraft and E-3s from the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force.”

John Clark
John Clark
13 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Well, we pay enough into the NATO pot and rarely ask for help, so time they coughed up and did something for us…..

Robin D.
Robin D.
13 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

In 1979 the UK took the typical unilateral decision to not join the NATO programme introducing the very first fleet of aircraft, 18 E3A AWACS into NATO service in1981. Many NATO countries participated, each contributing and each sharing the rewards of maintenance contracts. The UK were non-contributors and therefore received no benefits.The UK finally gave up on their go-it-alone, and failed Nimrod/GEC attempt to fulfil their obligation to NATO in providing AEW support some 10 years later and were finally convinced to procure seven E-3D AWACS from Boeing. The UK has been unable to keep pace with the necessary updates… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
13 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Totally agree.

eclipse
eclipse
14 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Why…? I can think of no acceptable reason for a country the size of the U.K. not to have a sovereign AEW capability. Not that 3 Wedgetails will give us a sufficient capability. Who will take up the slack? The NATO AEW cooperative system, so basically us relying on other country’s info. The downside to this is we can’t deploy any of our own AEW when or where we might need them.

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

ECLIPSE, I know,what you mean there should have been an overlap in time so as we don’t have too depend on others ,,I do believe the same happened with Those Nimrods, which were to be upspected but all ended in the breakers yard Our MOD seems too enjoy having more gaps in defence capabilities than Terry Thomas’s teeth Remember the Navies 3 Invincible class carriers thank god nothing between that gap and the QEs class becoming operational Whitehall must forever have their fingers crossed praying nothing does happen

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
12 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

No, not “other country’s info” because NATO isn’t a country. It’s an organisation funded by many countries, including the UK (which is the 2nd largest contributor, after the USA)

eclipse
eclipse
12 days ago
Reply to  Andy Poulton

2nd largest contributor? Yes. But until the E-7s come into service we will not be a contributor at all to NATO’s AEW capability. And, it is not other country’s info but it is gathered by other countries; French, American, German planes etc. And I’d argue that both of those points are unacceptable.

Reaper
Reaper
14 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Nato… and from what I heard these E-3D Sentrys are outdated because they never got upgraded like the yank ones. But the yanks still bought one of ours, for training i think though.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
14 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Hi Quentin, To make a stab at answering your first question I think it comes down to retaining a small cadre of people. In the past squadrons would disband and then reform later on a new type. On fighter squadrons the process meant to fighter force would be down say 2 squadrons, but with other squadrons to fill in some of the gaps. With only 3 airframes that is obviously not possible so it basically means gapping the capability while you retrain the force on to the new capability. We know that a small number of RAF people have been… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
13 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The article gives you the answer.

Mark B
Mark B
13 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

My mind has gone blank. Which NATO countries are ahead of the UK in the task of building their capabilities year on year? Has the UK failed to defend Europe at some point?

I’m not sure it isn’t a good thing to ask other NATO countries if they are still in the business of working with us in defending our democracies😀

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
12 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Unfortunately the UK E-3s have not been upgraded, so their value is limited anyway.

Reaper
Reaper
14 days ago

I hope one can go to the RAF museum…

I love the look of these airframes they don’t build them like that anymore…

Rob
Rob
14 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Where would you put it at Hendon? No room.

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
13 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Plenty of room at Cosford.

Reaper
Reaper
13 days ago
Reply to  Steve Salt

Cosford it is then 👍

Paul42
Paul42
13 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Let’s hope so! It would make a truly great exhibit, specially if visitors could walk through the cabin!

Reaper
Reaper
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Yeah it would make a great exhibit… shame we don’t have more support for x Millitary gear m8…

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve Salt

Do they have a Shackleton there ?

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
12 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

They didn`t the last time I went, but that was 2 years ago.

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve Salt

Oh well worth a try ,cheers Steve another piece of British aviation history consigned to memory

Geoffi
Geoffi
14 days ago

Appaling gap and only 3 replacement airframes.
I thought we learned the perils of crap AEW in the Falklands War….

Paul42
Paul42
13 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

We did learn lessons at the time, but these have been conveniently forgotten over the years, including of course the most critical of all………our lack of AEW!!

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

If you forget your past then your dakned too repeat again and again Ad infinitum

Paul42
Paul42
12 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Sadly yes. Two of the E3s were recently co-ordinating for the QE on her IOD in High threat areas……there has been little or no word on how Crowsnest has been fairing on the trip. To dispense with existing platforms prior to replacements being available is just plain dumb.

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

It seems that Whitehall have put that old adage of The lunatics have taken over the asylum too heart Paul

Matt
Matt
14 days ago

This might seem like a REALLY silly question… but could the radar dome be taken off, plonked on top of a tall-ish coastal building and be deployed as a backup ground station? For when things come to us? Extra set of eyes for the Quick Reaction team? Just crazy blue sky thinking haha.
[email protected]

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  Matt

No! The RAF has plenty of radar coverage for the UK home defence role. 😂

I can see the Spinnaker tower now…!

Lusty
Lusty
14 days ago

Only if the tower itself can be recommissioned as HMS Vernon. 😉

BB85
BB85
13 days ago

I wonder how big the blind spot is over the north atlantic?
Do modern airliners share their radar data in real time which probably means there isn’t a blind spot in normal circumstances unless all flights are grounded.

Mike
Mike
13 days ago
Reply to  BB85

To my knowledge airliners do not carry radar…. They rely on ground based

Dave G
Dave G
12 days ago
Reply to  BB85

Modern airliners don’t really have radars in that respect (apart from weather radars but not much coverage far off nose and not sure how good they are for aircraft)… they mostly use IFF transponders which rely on the other planes having there responding system turned on.

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
12 days ago
Reply to  BB85

There is zero radar coverage over the N Atlantic. Remember, radar at ground level does not have a particularly great range.

Air Traffic control is pretty much on trust until aircraft fly in to the UK’s Air Identification Zone which is when ATC pick them up by their transponders. It’s how we know Russian aircraft are approaching, they typically don’t have their transponders on so RAF QR have to be scrambled to identify and track to ensure there’s not conflict of airspace with civilian aircraft

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago

Bit iffy when absailing down it you might get your Parts fried

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago

IS flyingdale still up and running ?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Yes of course, as important as ever.

Ian M
Ian M
14 days ago
Reply to  Matt

I suspect the design of the radome has more of a “look down” function, so plonking it on a tall building might only give you a view of the people wandering around looking at the weird flying saucer that had just landed!😂

Chris
Chris
13 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Put it upside down?!

Ian M
Ian M
13 days ago
Reply to  Chris

😎👍

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Like how the MOD is now operating Chris

julian1
julian1
13 days ago
Reply to  Matt

would it be tall enough to work properly? what would power it – where would generators go?

Chuck
Chuck
13 days ago
Reply to  Matt

What about the Sampson Radar on the ridge above Portsmouth. This is obviously a training establishment, but I would guess that this would be quite a useful system in an elevated position, should an operational one be required. I hate gaps in our capabilities as much as I hate our services being handicapped by political micromanagement and incompetance. Looks like the Wedgetail order for a miserly 3 airframes will be padded out with drones, when it gets here. Maybe that will be the UK component, while manned Wedgetails will be used for our overseas committments. Just thinking out loud. I… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
13 days ago
Reply to  Chuck

Yes, the LBTS – Land Based Test Site. QinetiQ but MoD owned and there are RN units in there too. Next door was Portsdown Main.

Those radar have been suggested as a possible in place AMB element should we decide to deploy one.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
13 days ago

Don’t forget HMS Collingwood in Fareham. Lots of radars and systems there as well.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
13 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Indeed.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
13 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

And Fylingdales… unless that’s already been mentioned here?

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yes Gunbuster it seems Collingwood is home tòo most Branches in the Navy when I was rhere it was Just the Greenies Empire there’s more branches than Spaghetti junction

Reaper
Reaper
13 days ago

Didn’t Saxa Vord just get a new far more capable Radar. I think it helped Shetland get chosen for the second Satellite launch site, I could be wrong about the radars capabiltys so happily be corrected.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
13 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Saxa Vord had been deactivated, but was recommisioned. I’ve heard it’s radar came from Staxton but unsure of that.

Reaper
Reaper
13 days ago
Reply to  Chuck

I’m Afraid we all better get used to gaps in our capability’s they look like they are here to stay…

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Like Terry Thomas’s teeth

RobW
RobW
13 days ago
Reply to  Matt

That reminds me of a former defence sec and now former education secretary who (allegedly) asked if we could mount tank guns on tractors.

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  RobW

We can’t get Lorry drivers at the moment let alone tractor drivers they’ve all gone home

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy
14 days ago

This is a very sad day, the E3D has served the UK well over its 30 odd years of service often in operations in support of allies which was not headline news. I fail to understand how the French, who bought their E3s at virtually the same standard as the UK in the same deal with Boeing, have managed to upgrade all of their fleet to the latest E3 Standard. The claim that the E7 will “transform the UK AEW capability” is only true if you consider a reduction from 7 platforms to 3 to be transformational! One E7 cannot… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
14 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

That’s the UK government for you 🤔

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
14 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

because the French chose to spend the money on the upgrade, the UK did not. Having said that, even the USAF are really struggling keeping their E3s flying & are desperate to get a replacement.

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy
14 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

The USAF E3s are about 20 years older then the UK E3s and have flown many more hours including significantly more AAR events which increases fatigue usage. Added to this the USAF E3s have supported significant numbers of long term deployments into difficult desert environments which adds to general wear and tear of moving parts. They were planned to be replaced by the E10 ( a 767 variant) but that grew like topsy and was eventually cancelled some years ago – so they are probably desperate but have yet to conclude the E7 is the answer.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
14 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

Oh, I think that the USAF would be very happy to have the E7 but it is probably funding & politics holding them back. https://breakingdefense.com/2021/09/brown-air-force-serious-about-e-7-wedgetail/

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy
13 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

I don’t believe the E7 is big enough to carry all the additional equipment and crew carried on the USAF E3 and I doubt the E7 mission system is able to replace all that additional equipment. That’s assuming the radars are broadly equivalent in performance. Not much mention is made of the Japanese 767 variant of the E3. A Block 41 upgrade of that system may make a more compelling case, again assuming there are sufficient low hours 767’s in the US desert storage areas. I am quite certain that if the USAF were seriously looking at the E7, we… Read more »

Reaper
Reaper
13 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

What are the difference in capabilitys with the E3 and E7?

Daveyb
Daveyb
12 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

The E3 uses a 1980s era PESA radar, the E7 uses a 2010 era AESA radar. The performance difference is an order of magnitude. The rear end processing of the E7 uses swappable GPU blades, so are much easier to keep up to date, whereas the E3’s are dedicated blade based CPUs. With the E7, it is easier to upgrade its performance purely through software upgrades. Whilst the E3 is stuck with the PESA’s limitations. The E7’s multi-role electronically scanned array (MESA) does not have the limitations of PESA. It has a much wider operating frequency and can transmit multiple… Read more »

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy
12 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Davy you make some interesting statements about the E3 radar antenna what’s the source of your information ?

DaveyB
DaveyB
12 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

Let’s just say, I’ve had very close contact with them in the past.

Daveyb
Daveyb
11 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

Let’s just say I have first hand knowledge of the aircraft and its radar.

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy
11 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

So have I, which is why I ask the question.

Reaper
Reaper
13 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

How come the E7s are a fair bit smaller and twin engined? Newer smaller better tech?
I would love to see the recieved data difference between the two.

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Ask the Chinese Reaper they probably know more than the Yanks and its not even theirs

Reaper
Reaper
12 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Prob lol

Reaper
Reaper
13 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

That including the Nato e3 squadron?

Paul.P
Paul.P
14 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

No doubt the French aircraft will be doing some of the gap filling: just as we are helping them out with Chinooks in Mali.

OldSchool
OldSchool
14 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Not **** likely!

And besides that…..France has a total of just four E3F’s and they have 30 year old airframes so I think UK might have made the right call personally.

Last edited 14 days ago by OldSchool
Noth
Noth
13 days ago
Reply to  OldSchool

You do realize that for 10 years the French were doing our ASW patrols with Dassault Atlantiques because we retired Nimrod MR.2 without a replacement, till the P-8 arrived last year?

Reaper
Reaper
13 days ago
Reply to  Noth

It’s in Frenchys interest too though.

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  Noth

As stated in an earlier post , fair enough the Treasury was empty But those Nimrods were halfway through their updates when they went to the breakers yard what a waste of time and money , same happened with the Invincible class Carriers

OldSchool
OldSchool
12 days ago
Reply to  Noth

Yes. But likely a very small number. I have found only one case on the public record of that occurring – back in 2015 to look for a Russian sub. The US is likely to have helped a lot more in that time.

Reaper
Reaper
13 days ago
Reply to  OldSchool

I wonder the cost to bring them up to standard…

Reaper
Reaper
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Nato has a multinational E3 squadron based in europe, I would be surprised if some RAF guys don’t transfer over there and maybe some of our old planes too. Don’t the yanks base any awacs in UK or is that just tankers based here.

Paul.P
Paul.P
13 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Dunno. But as you say NATO does actually function. It covered our Nimrod to P8 gap and will cover this one too.

andy a
andy a
14 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

No but times have changed, the smart money from the experts is that in 10 years awacs aircraft will be not needed, drones will fly, transmit the rough data to operators safely in a bunker somewhere, meaning high tech computers arent flying around in danger, this then greatly lowers the cost of platforms and lowers risks to humans. 3 is enough to cover us in a stand alone war against a minor player, if we are going up against anyone bigger I would hope NATO is in play. Updating aircraft this old with the speed tech is changing was seen… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by andy a
Sean
Sean
13 days ago
Reply to  andy a

I think possibly less than 10 years, but otherwise spot on.

julian1
julian1
13 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

think the reasoning is that manned AEW will be obsolete in 10 years and that drones are the future. also, these aircraft don’t do just AEW, they do ISTAR and we have alternatives…unlike the french

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
13 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

You would have to go back a very long time, when we last operated 7 E3’s. Basically 3 E7’s can do the job of 5 or more E3’s. Why? because of the availability and serviceability rate. E3 struggled to achieve a 60% serviceability rate. E7 will easily surpass 95% like the Voyager fleet does. And it is much more capable. Combined with the P8 fleet and the 16 Protectors, RAF ISTAR and AEW will be far more capable compared to the E3 day’s. The gap isn’t ideal, but money needs to be saved to pay for the new toy’s. E3… Read more »

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy
13 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

I wasn’t proposing that no investment be made on the E3. Comparing past performance under a flawed support contract with the first of Type aircraft yet to come off the conversion line is interesting. As for Voyager the availability rate is a direct result of the much criticised PFI deal where availability is fixed and the MOD/RAF cannot easily mess about with support options as the aircraft is maintained to civil standards.

Reaper
Reaper
13 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

Well Atleast NATO now has its own multinational awacs squadrons in Germany, maybe where our planes might go for spares or even upgrade.

And surely the RAF guys will now go help/work with NATO’s E3s as it’s an area and plane we know well, II we don’t already have guys there helping.

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy
13 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

A good idea but not new; the first RAF E3D crew and Sqn/Stn Execs trained on the NATO Sqns in the late 1980’s prior to the delivery of the first E3D. They remained for some months after completing training to augment the NATO Operation as recompense for the training. However I doubt the RAF will want to invest further in the E3 as the E7 is very different aircraft. A few RAF crewmembers are already serving on the RAAF E7 and will presumably form the nucleus of the Sqn when the first E7 is ready for delivery.

Reaper
Reaper
12 days ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

Yeah, 👍

Farouk
Farouk
14 days ago

Now waiting for the typical MOD delay on its replacement, followed by the new Labour government cancelling the purchase and giving them to Moscow as an example of our good faith.

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
13 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Ooooh! you cynic.😜

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve Salt

Attlee gave them a jet engine in 46 so perhaps Farouk is on too something

RobW
RobW
13 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

They are already being built aren’t they? Though the airframes were being readied. Looks on course to me.

Bob
Bob
13 days ago

At least one is still flying (ZH101 I think), not sure what it is doing though.

Mike
Mike
13 days ago

So this is the reality of so-called ‘Global Britain’? What an absolute joke! We constantly shun our closest allies in Europe, mock them, aggravate them, then invite them back to drive our trucks and to assist in protecting our air space. What an absolute joke this country is and if I were our European allies, I know what my response would be. Less ‘Global Britain’ more ‘Litte Britain’!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
13 days ago
Reply to  Mike

Disagree. So I thought I’d write the usual response to you TH, or Harold, to add some balance to your hate filled venomous rant. “So this is the reality of so-called ‘Global Britain” P5 UNSC member. G7 member. Worldwide economic, cultural, trade links. One of the worlds major or medium powers. The Military has nothing to do with the term “Global Britain” as Great Britain has been global for centuries, has it not? The term “Global Britain” has just been hijacked by the left to mock. “constantly shun our closest allies in Europe” We do? Or do they shun us?… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
13 days ago

Well said….

RobW
RobW
13 days ago

💯 agree, some people just want to be negative.

Airborne
Airborne
13 days ago

Have you noticed mate that now he has been clocked as the troll TH and Harold he is reverting to type and being more anti and childish with his comments. Sad, but as normal you have took him apart and he is unable to respond!

eclipse
eclipse
13 days ago

Fantastically said… and also P.S. “Mike” the Europeans also need and get things from us militarily. For example – Chinooks in Mali, only carrier-capable half the time (while CDG is in refit/maintenance) etc.

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago

I think he wants us to help pack his bags for the Ferry Daniele

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

With pleasure. I’d pay for the ticket. One way to Europe, so he can live happily ever after.

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago

He could claim Asylum ,make a change going the otherway

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Defo

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago

And another thing, do Trolls now live in their mother’s basements instead of under bridges with WiFi access

Reaper
Reaper
12 days ago

Well said 100% accurate too. ANd Britain arguably lost the most and got little after liberating Europe in ww2, they should be thanking us not spiting us, especially France.

Imagine Europe if Britain done what hitler really wanted and became allies in the beginning of WW2… Britain isnt Italy though and we have class and honour.

Airborne
Airborne
13 days ago
Reply to  Mike

Boom! And Daniele shoots and scores and we have a troll down, troll down, we have a troll down on the site! Ah you can always rely on TH, Harold, PierrLM, John or whatever new avatar and IP address the saddo comes up with to regurgitate the same drivel.

Bill
Bill
13 days ago

Another pathetic attempt in a very long line of ‘savings’ initiatives. Mind you a capability gap of only 2 years or so? Progress!

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Getting better ,8 yrs for the Carriers

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
13 days ago

Yet another unacceptable capability holiday. And the government trots out the same garbage they did with MPA. Shameful.

Leslie Leveson
Leslie Leveson
13 days ago

We are entering a next phase of defense warning as technogy advances at pace.
What was created in science fiction comics is becoming reality through research and development.
If one knew what the future holds in aeriel defence we would be blown away.

JR
JR
13 days ago
Reply to  Leslie Leveson

Just been thinking about the E-3. Was it once armed with AIM-9Ls, or planned to be armed with them, in the 80s?

William Buchanan
William Buchanan
12 days ago

Typical MOD civil servant thinking. Bunch of aresoles. No idea about defence.

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago

Thanks William, I did my 22 for my country they just do it for themselves and get a gilt edge Pension

Jake
Jake
12 days ago

If we were able to fit refuelling probes to our E-3s (so they can be refuelled without a boom), why aren’t we fitting our P-8s and E-7s with them? Seems like an inexpensive and simple(ish) addition that can add a whole lot more of *soverign* capability…

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy
12 days ago
Reply to  Jake

Fitting a probe would require a whole series of changes to the front of the aircraft and flight trails and updated maintenance procedures and manuals to Certify the aircraft all of which would add to the acquisition cost. The MOD has learned a lesson that buying off the shelf means exactly that and any changes come with a significant extra cost. No doubt this would have been debated during the decision making process and the RAF have concluded that for local operations refuelling will not be require very often except for training and currency and the US or NATO could… Read more »

Antipodean
Antipodean
10 days ago
Reply to  Jake

Or you could fit the already designed, tested and in service boom to the A330 tanker fleet.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago

We originally had 11 Sentry E-3D. Can three Wedgetails do the job of 11 Sentrys?

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We never had 11 E3s, the RAF planned to have 11 Nimrod AEW 3’s but that programme was cancelled due to lack of performance and increasing development costs (it was a cost + contract.). 7 E3s were purchased under fixed price terms after a competition between all the existing major contenders, including GEC the prime for Nimrod AEW. When the UK selected Boeing the French joined the purchase as Boeing offered a deal where a common system for both nations had some significant cost savings. I understand the French are showing some interest in purchasing some parts of the UK… Read more »

Ron
Ron
11 days ago

Does someone know if the reason for the retirement is due to the electronics being out of date or the airframes have no further life in them. The reason for my question is simple really, if it is the airframes that are shot then ok I understand, but if it is due to the electronics not being upto to peer to peer standard then I question the logic. We do not need peer to peer in every area of operations, as an example the Caribbean we could use the older E3s to help in anti drug running patrols, possibly even… Read more »

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy
10 days ago
Reply to  Ron

The E3 is been retired because the airframe needed very serious maintenance and the Electronics was out of date. Unlike other E3 users, the MOD/RAF had given the aircraft no significant updates during its whole life (30 years). The extent of work to address these issues was high and consequently so would have been the costs. These were deemed to be unaffordable against other higher priorities for investment. It took the RAF a great effort to keep the 3 remaining aircraft flying so the aircraft has been given the ‘coup de grace’ to save all this effort and expense for… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
5 days ago

If UK E-3 retired why is ZH101 flying nearly everyday? currently circling west of RAF Boulmer (20211007 12:30z) Callsign SOLEX01

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
1 minute ago

yup, ZH101 currently flying up the East coast of Scotland at 30,000ft …