The UK will rely on the multinational ‘NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force’ to fill the gap between E-3D Sentry retiring this year and E-7 Wedgetail coming online in 2023.

Further confirmation of this came today 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

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 ead 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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Rob Collinson
Rob Collinson
8 days ago

We need more than THREE!!!!!

farouk
farouk
8 days ago
Reply to  Rob Collinson

Nah, BJ has been informed by a yes man at the MOD that if push comes to shove they can use a A400 you know like they did when they wanted a spy in the sky over the channel last year in which to watch out for the latest batch of school children crossing from France:

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Something Different
Something Different
7 days ago
Reply to  Rob Collinson

We need eight and cannot wait!

Craig
Craig
5 days ago
Reply to  Rob Collinson

Britain has given up the desire to be able to defend itself.

Challenger
Challenger
8 days ago

Urgh, just keeps getting better! Another capability gap to be followed by just 3 aircraft which won’t be able to sustain more than 1 tasking at a time.

DaveyB
DaveyB
8 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Hate to be one of the crews. They’ll be expected to do more than 8 hours on Station.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
8 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

How is that different to how Nimrod was used or E7 & P8 will be used?

I mean commercial crews do 8 hrs +?

DaveyB
DaveyB
8 days ago

The Aussies have used their E7s operating over Iraq for up to 16 hours and more. The aircraft was in such demand and proved to better than expected, especially when compared to the E3s and even the E2s (Ds included). However, unlike the Aussie A330s, ours don’t have the flying boom. So in some respects it’s a saving grace. I’m not sure if other NATO assets will be used to refuel either the E7s or the P8s. What I was trying to get at, perhaps not so eloquently, is that with only 3 aircraft they and the crews are going… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
8 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Interesting points.

I’m never very sure why our tankers are not configured for both AAR options.

If you wanted to cut costs just to have native kit that would be the way forward.

dan
dan
8 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Please provide us with the info that says the E-7s were more effective than the E-2Ds. Btw, not sure what an E-2Ds were doing that far away from a CVN group to start with.

Daveyb
Daveyb
8 days ago
Reply to  dan

No, sorry, I cannot give you specifics because that is classified information. However, what I can tell you, which came from a crewman on one of the Aussie E7s that was patrolling along the Jordan to Iraq corridor, is that that they were detecting a lot of non-Syrian aircraft and tracking them whilst they were on patrol a lot further than is published. They also said that the E7 could identify the type of aircraft from its profile signature, something the E3 cannot do. Not sure where you’re going with reference to the Hawkeyes. When the French carrier is in… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
8 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Correct mate, but once in service and cutting (flying) about lets hope the effectivness is recognised and a few more are ordered. 3 is low no matter how you spin it, certainly as they expect (want) the new Poseidons to take up some of the slack (which they will struggle to do as those numbers are tight also). Cheers buddy.

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
7 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hopefully they will at least have enough crews to get the most out of the planes we have. I believe a commercial jet is expected to spend 20 hours out of every 24 in the air , I suspect the raf will be more like a few hours per day on average, isn’t one way of making the planes do more training more Crews so they can be in the air more often. I suspect this won’t be the case but one can hope

Craig
Craig
5 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Which means they wi be working into the ground. RAF needs 8. Then again they need at least 12 P-8s preferably 24.

Andy a
Andy a
7 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

To be fair if it means we can buy more f35 then do it. In 15 years awacs will be replaced with drones so no point buying full squadron. I can’t see us needing more than three as any seriously peer war we will have nato snd america. We have enough for a falklands type situation and can augment with poisiden

Bill
Bill
7 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Three. With a two year gap in capability. Three aircraft. Pathetic. One step forward, two back. And yet £250m can be found for a floating gin palace. Priorities eh?

RobW
RobW
8 days ago

Before we fall over ourselves condemning this move, is it really that bad? The E-3As are old and outdated. If we really need cover can we not call on the NATO E3s?

As has been said time and again, the replacement E-7s seem to be stop gap tech so ordering 3 seems ok to me, especially as we have been operating the existing E3 fleet at that level for a while.

Not the end of the world in my humble opinion.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
8 days ago
Reply to  RobW

I’d tend to agree with that.

The E-3A’s that the UK has are very out of date and because we went down the blind alley of UK modified versions they cannot be upgraded in the same as the US versions.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
8 days ago
David A
David A
8 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

And correct me if i’m wrong here but the US E3’s have been upgraded and ours have not.

dan
dan
8 days ago
Reply to  David A

True. US and NATO E-3 are much more capable. Only thing that US planes lack are the better engines. Maybe the US can buy the engines off the Brit E-3s. lol

Andy P
Andy P
8 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Don’t know much about the E-7’s but if what you’re saying is right then agreed, no point going OTT on them if they’re intended as a stopgap. Especially if we can rely on allies to cover the capability in the immediate term.

David A
David A
8 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Rob, I remember reading a couple of years ago that the E3 was better than nothing but obsolescent. So I agree with the decision.

dan
dan
8 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Not a good idea to always be depending on others. That’s how Germany does things regarding defense.

Positroll
Positroll
7 days ago
Reply to  dan

“That’s how Germany does things regarding defense.” Remind me again, who is doing the CH2=>CH3 upgrade for you Brits? Which country persisted, on its own, with the Boxer program after France and the UK jumped ship? Which country has 3 different tracked IFV/AFVs (Puma, Lynx, PMMC) on offer, with none of them shaking to pieces and a fourth one being developed (by KMW)? Germany is building a bunch of new ships, and the only ones being built by foreign shipyards are the MKS180. And even there, actual construction is done in Germany by German subcontractors. The only area where that… Read more »

Positroll
Positroll
7 days ago
Reply to  Positroll

Forgot to mention the following BW equipment:
Body armor? German.
Infrared sights? German.
Pistol: German (P8)
SMG: German (MP5, MP7)
Rifles? German (G3, G36, …).
Machine guns? 95% German (with a few American M2 and rotating guns mixed in).
Autocannons (20, 27, 30mm)? German.
Tank cannons? German (there’ll be a Leo II A8 at least with a L55A2, and the way things are going with the MGCS, I’ll bet you 1 EUR we’ll also see a Leo II A9 or a Leo III).
Howitzers? German.

Patriot and MLRS are Murican, I’ll admit. And Italian naval guns.

David Steeper
David Steeper
7 days ago
Reply to  Positroll

Deep breaths ! in ! out ! in ! out ! There feel better.

Positroll
Positroll
6 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Thanks, but I already felt better after posting the above. Lol.

David Steeper
David Steeper
6 days ago
Reply to  Positroll

 😀 

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  Positroll

All true. But, don’t aim that at us Brits. dan is American.

Positroll
Positroll
6 days ago

Oh. Had I known that, I would have concentrated my ranting on the Bradley replacement instead … 😉

julian1
julian1
7 days ago
Reply to  Positroll

Dan is a septic tank – that is very obvious. Trumpian too.
Brits have a better awareness of the great German kit available even if the German government has just woken up to the fact that it is needed!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  julian1

That is it. No one doubts German kit, well I don’t.

I think it is partially its lack of use. But people forget just how scarred the Germans are after WW2. Using military power overseas will not come as easily to them as it does for us.

Airborne
Airborne
7 days ago
Reply to  Positroll

dans American! Oh dear oops….

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
7 days ago
Reply to  Positroll

I think you mean how German manufacturing does it as far as the German armed forces go their in a 💩 state. wasn’t so long ago a German defence ministry study concluded the following – 89 out of 138 Euro fighters out of service half the 224 Leopard tanks servicable only 5 of the navy’s 13 frigates seaworthy And here it is the most amazing finding the navy UNABLE to field a single submarine! not to mention issues with the new frigates they are planning the list goes on and on…… aye the German armed forces ………🙈 newsflash amigo this… Read more »

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
7 days ago

UN serviceable on the leopards

Positroll
Positroll
6 days ago

“not so long ago” is irrelevant. Budgets have been going up since 2014, and especially since 2019. What’s more, things were never as bad as proclaimed by the media. Lots of the issues were a red herring if one looked closer. Say low EF availability. the most recent headlines in that field were entirely due to peace time rules. What happened was that a part of the self defense system showed occasional malfunctions (say a 1:10.000 chance it might not work on a given flight and damage the aircraft a bit; something that would be absolutely ignored in a real… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
6 days ago
Reply to  Positroll

Does anyone else get that Deja vu feeling reading that.

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
6 days ago
Reply to  Positroll

Kudos to your informative reply bro , and I don’t disagree with what you have pointed out.

im coming from a pre programmed disposition to defend the U.K. whenever cheeky wee scallywags try and run us down. However, that being said my point as clumsily made as it was is that issues involving equipment , state of readiness, availability are universal among every nations military not just the U.K.

I know the Germans don’t like it up em so not mocking at all just had to point out the wee teething issues German military recently had.😃👍🏻

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧

Positroll
Positroll
6 days ago

No hard feelings. I just hate it when some news outlets produce complete rubbish and people swallow it hook, line and sinker.

What makes it doubly irritating to me is that there are still serious issues to be adressed (like a lack of heavy lift helis and shorad for the army, as well as a Tornado fleet that should have been replaced 10 years ago, except that the politicians didnt want to touch the topic due to its toxity …).

But when the media spends its time fake scandals, who will put the spotlight on the real problems? Bah, humbug.

Frank62
Frank62
7 days ago
Reply to  dan

Does seem very short sighted. If we rely so much on allies for too many capabilities, we undermine our own value as an ally. This perverse obsession with the bare minimum(or less) is likely to cost us dearly.

Daveyb
Daveyb
8 days ago
Reply to  RobW

The NATO E3s are admittedly more upgraded than our E3Ds. The US and NATO did a joint upgrade program, which upgraded a number of radios, but more importantly the AN/APY-2’s back end (signal processing). France will be upgrading theirs to the same standard. However, NATO have said that this will the last upgrade for their E3, as they will be looking at replacement system (they have mentioned the E7 a lot). The problem with the Sentry is that the airframe dates back to the 50’s and some spares are getting really rare. They are quite a few companies in the… Read more »

Pete
Pete
8 days ago
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago

Makes little difference to the UKADR/ ASCS.

As for Wedgetail, the 5 would have been nice.

But more Rivet Joint would be nice too, and 51 has operated 3 in that role, and Nimrod previously, for years.

Assume UAV will eventually supplement, both for the RAF and the deployed carrier groups.

Capability gap? We’ve had worse.

Airborne
Airborne
8 days ago

And once again the voice of knowledgable reason speaks out, well said mate totaly agree.

Deep32
Deep32
8 days ago

Not my sphere, but am assuming that FOC will be several years after IOC? Not sure what we miss in between either, if anything!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Not mine, either. We have 4 E3 now, I don’t think they do much as it is.

I’m curious what the RAF plan for the huge Sentry hanger at the northern end of Waddington? I assume the Protector fleet could use it and fit in with room to spare.

Deep32
Deep32
8 days ago

Well out of my comfort zone now mate! Just read the blurb on RAF Washington, it appears that the Protector flt are getting £93 mil spent on a new hanger and facilities. Sentry hanger not mentioned, so no idea! Will make a good indoor sports facility if nothing else-he said tongue in cheek!!!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Interesting. I only asked as it, like Thomson building, is a self contained secure area from the rest of the station.

If the AWACS role is moving I’m curious to know what operational use they find for it beyond the sports hall!!

Deep32
Deep32
8 days ago

Were getting another 13 Protectors, so perhaps one hanger isn’t enough, maybe they require the two to house them all? I didn’t say where the new hanger was being built on the base. Bit of a waste if we are just spending on new facilities for the sake of it, were not exactly flush with cash!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I did share a link after you mentioned what you found, but blocked by Mods currently. The map of the proposals showed the new build area on the eastern side of the runway, an area little used beyond the old SSA’s and dispersals. The stations admin and ops areas proper are on the west side and the Sentry facility at the northern end. So lots of area to build on. Agree mate, we should not waste cash but I’d think the fleet will be in the same new build area and not spit between the new purpose built facility and… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
8 days ago

Good point about the Reds move, I’m sure such a hanger would suit their basing requirements v nicely.

dan
dan
8 days ago

Right now they are providing overwatch for the QE battlegroup.

Paul42
Paul42
7 days ago
Reply to  dan

And this is the point! We are using them right now, to watch over a key asset. Under no circumstances should we take E3D out of service without a viable replacement in.place. As for a drone taking on the role, its not that simple………

Meirion x
Meirion x
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Agreed!

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
8 days ago

Hi Daniele, I agree. I am wondering what is going on behind the scenes with the UAV developments. AEW appears to be high on the list of capability requirements for UAVs and there are a couple of programmes on-going in the UK with relevant experience. Crowsnest and the UK variant of Captor-E. These two systems whilst utilising very different technologies give the UK experience in small AEW radars and AESA radar which will need to be brought together to give the UK an effective AEW UAV system. This also raises an interesting trade off for the system designers. A large… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
8 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Even with lots of UAVs that operate a shorter range X-band radar will be a compromise too far. The reason is the stand-off detection range and the safety it can deliver. It is generally accepted today that a modern fighter’s radar will have a detection range against a 1m3 target around 150miles. Compared to an aircraft that can carry a lower frequency radar such as the E7’s MESA L-band radar that has a “published” detection range of around 400 miles. Missiles such as the AMRAAM and AA-10 Alamo are said to be able to hit targets nearly 100 miles away.… Read more »

Positroll
Positroll
6 days ago

“Capability gap? We’ve had worse.”

Yeah. But the whole spin behind the changes caused by the integrated review was that the UK would reduce its armored footprint on the continent by scrapping warrior and reducing the Challenger fleet, but make that up to NATO by concentrating on what it is traditionally good at. Which would include controlling the sea and airspace over the Northern Atlantic.

How the heck do you do that job in a shooting war with Russia with a measely 3 AWACS aircraft ???

Paul42
Paul42
8 days ago

Scrap all the 7 E3Ds , replace with just 3 E7s in a couple of years and make use of NATO assets meantime. If it were acquire 5 x E7 it wouldn’t sound as bad, but with Sentinnel binned, now E3, capability wise we seem to be in the usual hurry to delete before effective replacement has flown…….

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
8 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

It’s been a very very long time since we operated 7 E3’s. In fact we have never operated 7.6 with 1 in maintenance. We dropped to 4 from 2015, and 3 since 2019.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

3? Right, thought was still 4. There you go.

Daveyb
Daveyb
8 days ago

The MoD have sold one to the USA. It’s going to be used as trainer aircraft.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Right, missed that.

John N
John N
8 days ago

I wonder what will happen with the RAF personnel that are here in Oz for E-7A Wedgetail training?

They might as well stay here and enjoy the sun!

farouk
farouk
8 days ago

As a silly question, which is the better plane regards radar coverage?

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
8 days ago

Here we go again. Good job in the real world that wars are fought with pounds, dollars roubles and yuan (or) renminbi.

dan
dan
8 days ago

Retired?? Aren’t these AEW planes providing overwatch for the QE CV group right now? The Chicoms and Russians must be laughing right now at all the British military cuts. Ugh

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  dan

What, 4 ( 3 ) outdated E3s replaced by 3 state of the art Wedgetails as a stop gap until unmanned systems take more of the load?

I think we are laughing at the Russian carrier more, frankly.

Noth
Noth
7 days ago

There were 7 originally. I presume we’re at 6 now.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  Noth

We have 3. I thought 4.

Yes, 7. Only 6 were used I believe l. 7th was spares.

Airborne
Airborne
8 days ago
Reply to  dan

To be fair Dan they are probably laughing at your President at the moment and wondering how long he will still be sitting in the chair “woking” himself and the States to the world. The choice of politicians, for us all at the moment isnt who is best, but who is best of a very bad bunch.

Meirion x
Meirion x
7 days ago
Reply to  dan

I agree with you on this issue!

PaulW
PaulW
8 days ago

I once had to write a maintenance policy update for the RAF E-3D to change a light bulb. You wouldn’t believe the paperwork involved. Serious problem keeping the E-3D operational given its age. But I don’t agree with retiring such a key capability without its replacement being available. That’s a serious failure in my opinion. Maybe we voters should dissolve the current HMG and accidentally overlook the election of a new one. Perhaps there might be a chance to look at that before the next Q4 end. Then cancel that meeting and re-schedule for the following year. Lol.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
8 days ago

I believe that one of these are to be sold to the US Navy as a trainer for their fleet of ‘Doomsday aircraft’. E-6’s that are launched in the even of nuclear attack I think.

dan
dan
6 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Isn’t the USN replacing their 707 based E-6s with a C-130J version?

David Steeper
David Steeper
8 days ago

3 E7, 3 Rivet Joint, 9 Poseidon etc etc. We seem to be buying tiny numbers of bespoke specialised aircraft. Each of which will need it’s own training and maintenance programs. Surely the unit whole life cost will be astronomical compared to a single type of less specialised aircraft able to adequately perform all 3 roles.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I think in the case of RC135 especially a Iess specialised aircraft results in a lower capability. The Rivet Joints, like the Nimrod R1 before them, are gold plated for a reason.
Their capability is great.

Last edited 8 days ago by Daniele Mandelli
James Blyther
James Blyther
6 days ago

Would it be possible to refit the E3D as RC135, at the moment we lease them from the Americans I believe. I would assume our present airframes are younger with maybe less hours ?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  James Blyther

No idea, but doubt It given the costs involved and years it took to convert just 3.

We don’t lease them. We leased the 1st 4 C17s before they were purchased outright. Never read of our Rivets being leased.

Ours are ex USAF tankers from their reseve stocks with the lowest hours I believe.

Johan
Johan
8 days ago

OK, the E3s are out of hours or will be and Nato has upgraded there’s so we are not exposed in our current theatres. same with the Sentinal, time they completed there checks and service and upgrades. Wedgetail will be here.. UK MOD Allways on the edge and run the fleets hard. one of the E3s has been sold back to the USAF early for a training aircraft, more value than scrap.

dan
dan
6 days ago
Reply to  Johan

Has NATO told the RN that they will provide AEW&C support to RN CV groups?

Steven McColm
Steven McColm
8 days ago

Why do we always retire aircraft before their replacement has entered service? They did it with the BAe Nimrod, BAe Harrier and now the E-3D Sentry. The only saving grace is the Airbus A400M Atlas which is in service and will replace the Lockheed C-130J Hercules.
They should have bought the Yak-141/41 Freestyle and teamed up with the YF-23 to replace the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Positroll
Positroll
6 days ago
Reply to  Steven McColm

“The only saving grace is the Airbus A400M Atlas which is in service and will replace the Lockheed C-130J Hercules” A A400M is pretty big and expensive. Does one realy want to risk losing one on a mission in the African bush that only requires to move a squad or platoon sized force? Which is one main reason Germany and France decided that having a few Super Hercs around is quite useful for tiny airfileds and special forces ops (refueling helos is also easier with a SH; yes, a A400M can do it in a üinch, but the size differential… Read more »

dan
dan
6 days ago
Reply to  Steven McColm

Don’t forget the very capable Sentinel.

Mark Forsyth
Mark Forsyth
7 days ago

And the Sun said, they had the exclusive.
Great work again George keeping us updated.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/15710900/raf-axe-eye-sky-early/

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
7 days ago

I am starting to think the Tories have some sick fetish for leaving capability gaps in our armed forces. Seriously, wasn’t scrapping Nimrod without replacement embarrassing enough? What exactly is wrong with keep these aircraft an extra year and a half?

Meirion x
Meirion x
7 days ago

I am agree we should keep these aircraft flying until replacemen, even if this means to put up taxes to pay for them.

David Steeper
David Steeper
6 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Don’t worry thanks to everyones best friend Covid they’re going up anyway.

Ryan Brewis
Ryan Brewis
7 days ago

Can they be augmented by a UAV or two? Act as part AEW&C, part mothership with the drones a few hundred miles out as pickets?

dan
dan
7 days ago
Reply to  Ryan Brewis

Not sure there is a UAV capable of AEW&C operations right now. The US is studying using satellites for this mission but that is many years away.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
7 days ago

Another disgraceful capability holiday!

Something Different
Something Different
7 days ago

What monitors the Russian aircraft approaching from the north, is it the UK’s E3s, ground radar or something/someone else?

dan
dan
7 days ago

The UK has sufficient radar coverage for high flying aircraft and missiles with ground based UK and US radars. It’s the low flying cruise missiles, UAVs, ect that need an airborne radar to detect them and give adequate warning. That is why the QE CV group is being supported by E-3s.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago

The RAF ASCS force. Although rebranded recently as the BMF “Battle Management Force”

NADOC Bunker at High Wycombe.
CRCs at Boulmer / Scampton.

RRH at Benbecula / Buchan / Saxa Vord / Brizlee Wood / Staxton Wold * /
Trimmingham / Portreath.

CAA radar sites feed into the RAP as do all NATO ground based radar assets.
And I believe at sea naval radar on ships too.

I’m not aware of our Sentry ever aloft on a daily basis contributing to the RAP.
Thought they were more expeditionary in nature providing battle management.

Nath
Nath
6 days ago

3 seems sensible. Surely We can’t use them against a bear peer enemy, they’d just get picked out of the sky by a stand off weapon? How many do we need to watch warlords trample the developing world? The future is drones, para-satellites and space based systems working in a networked mesh. With E7 or whatever thousands of miles away and acting as a data marshalling point.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
17 seconds ago

Just read that the USN is buying one of the E3 air frames as a pilot training aircraft to ease the load on the E 6 Mercury (Tacamo) Aircraft for
15 mil Dollars apparently…never raced or rally’d!
Add to that the Herc the US NAVY bought as a Fat Albert replacement for 30 Mil, sell the remaining Tonkas to KSA and your on your way to another Wedgetail!