Exercise Arnhem Thunder saw Royal Air Force personnel fill key positions on Australia’s E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft.
The Royal Australian Air Force say that those positions included aircraft captain and senior surveillance and control officer, the two most senior roles on board.
“But this mixed nationality situation wasn’t unique to Arnhem Thunder. RAF personnel have been on exchange with No. 2 Squadron (2SQN) for the past few years, gaining valuable experience on Australia’s E-7A Wedgetail in preparation for the introduction of a UK variant.
This knowledge sharing arrangement is reflective of the deep importance and enduring nature of the defence relationship that exists between Australia and the United Kingdom.”
The UK’s E-7 aircraft (the order cut from 5 to 3) are due to be delivered from 2023, and will be operated by No. 8 Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.
Wedgetail 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.