NATO may replace its E-3 Sentry aircraft with new E-7 Wedgetail aircraft

Michael Gschossmann of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation agency that manages the AWACS fleet, told Reuters here that expected to finalize by December a $750 million contract with Boeing to extend the life of the E-3 aircraft through to 2035.

Gschossmann also said it was critical to decide quickly how to replace the 1979/1980-era aircraft or NATO would need to take costly steps to keep them flying even longer.

The E-7 is based on the Boeing 737-700 with the addition of an advanced Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array radar.

Gschossmann told Reuters NATO could follow the lead of member states Britain and Turkey in purchasing the E-7. Those aircraft, he said, were large enough to add potential new capabilities, such as operating drones for expanded surveillance, in coming years.

“Why don’t we bet on the proven technology that we already have in the E-7 and provide NATO with a certain number of those aircraft? That would give us a basic capability that could be expanded in the future,” he said.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Who does Gschossman think should pay for the new fleet? If he says Germany, I am all for it.


Off topic but pretty DARN impressive…

NATO should consider a multinational lift wing to help deploy troops from member states with small helicopter forces…



There is already a program like that, the Strategic Airlift Capability. It’s based in Hungary and lets NATO members share access to C-17 Globemasters. See: and the wing that runs it


Hi Nimmeron,

yes I’m aware of the multinational C17 wing – I was thinking of a tactical rotary lift wing modeled along the same lines to share resources among smaller NATO members.



If NATO do choose the E-7 Wedgetail, then there is considerable AEW&C conversion work that would be expected to head to Marshall Aerospace’s facilities in Cambridge which would be already converting the Wedgetails for the RAF.

David Barry

Should NATO take the E7, would we see any economy of scale?


It depends on how the original UK deal has been structured, however having additional NATO work in the UK must be seen as a positive.


I think the bill has already been signed which prob means nato is benefitting from the EOS. Hopefully the UK has secured a good bit of the conversion work. I’m assuming it will be built on a more up to date air frame than the austrailian version.