The first of the five E-7 Wedgetails purchased by the UK to replace the E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning And Control aircraft will arrive in 2023.
Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, recently asked in a written Parliamentary question:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timescale is for the delivery of each E-7 Wedgetail aircraft.”
Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, replied:
“The current forecast for delivery of the first E-7 Wedgetail AEW Mk1 aircraft to the Royal Air Force is 2023, with the last expected in 2026. However, I am withholding the detailed delivery schedule as this would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our Armed Forces.”
Quin also added in a response to another question:
“The E-7 Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft is produced by modifying and militarising a Boeing 737 Next Generation airliner. As has been stated previously, the first two airframes to be inducted into the modification process are low-hours, previously-owned aircraft. In preparation for modification, Boeing will undertake a thorough overhaul of these airframes to ensure a standard form, fit and function across the whole fleet. This will enable all aircraft to be operated and maintained by the RAF in the same manner.”
Recently, Boeing has selected STS Aviation Services and its Birmingham site for the conversion work on the United Kingdom’s fleet of five Wedgetail aircraft.
The conversion work – turning commercial 737 Next Generation airliners into Wedgetails – will create more than 100 highly skilled jobs in the West Midlands: 90 with STS Aviation Services and 30 more with Boeing, say the firm in a press release.