The first of three Boeing E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft for the Royal Air Force has been inducted into the modification facility at Birmingham Airport in the UK.
The aircraft is being converted from a commercial 737 Boeing Business Jet to the Wedgetail by STS Aviation Services at Birmingham on contract to Boeing. The RAF announced its intention to acquire five E-7As in March 2019 to replace its Boeing 707-based E-3D Sentry from 2023, but recently reduced this number to just three as part of its Defence Command Paper review.
The review 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.”