Wedgetail fleet receives upgrades

An E-7A Wedgetail from Number 2 Squadron sits on the tarmac at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, during Exercise Red Flag 18-1. Image via Commonwealth of Australia.

The first phase of upgrades to Australia’s E-7A fleet has been completed, with the aircraft receiving new satellite position broadcast technology.

Under the Wedgetail AIR 5077 Phase 5A program, Boeing Defence Australia is leading a global Boeing team to deliver structural and software upgrades to the Royal Australian Air Force’s airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) fleet.

The on-time completion of the first stage of Phase 5A equipped the fleet of six aircraft with satellite position broadcast technology and the latest version of a traffic collision avoidance system. Boeing said these upgrades will keep the aircraft compliant with mandated changes in the civilian environment.

Trevor Smith, Phase 5A project manager for the ADF, said the recent and ongoing changes will enable better sharing of data in a battle space with allies.

"The changes being made to Australia’s Wedgetail fleet will allow us to share large amounts of strategic and tactical data more easily in a battle space environment," Smith said.

"Being able to quickly exchange information, such as the location of threats, with our allies and across different platforms means we can combine potent capabilities more effectively during joint operations.

"The Wedgetail is the centerpiece of our national air defense capability, and it continues to be a critical asset in protecting our warfighters in missions and exercises overseas."

Boeing Defence Australia general manager of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance Scott Carpendale praised the efforts of the global team for delivering the first round of upgrades.

"The Wedgetail program demonstrates the strength we bring to our international customers when we operate as one Boeing," Carpendale said.

"Our Australian team worked closely with airborne surveillance command and control organisation in Oklahoma City to deliver the updates, and that relationship allowed us to draw on the expertise of our people across the globe."

Wedgetail fleet receives upgrades
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