Based on market research, the Department of the Air Force has decided to replace a portion of the E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System fleet with the E-7 Wedgetail, which is produced by Boeing.
The Boeing E-7 is the only platform capable of meeting the requirements for the Defense Department’s tactical battle management, command and control and moving target indication capabilities within the timeframe needed to replace the aging E-3.
A contract award is planned in fiscal year 2023.
The Fiscal Year 2023 President’s Budget request includes $227 million in Research, Development, Test and Evaluation funds starting in fiscal 2023. These funds support the acquisition of a rapid prototype aircraft planned to deliver in fiscal 2027.
The notional schedule plans for a second rapid prototype aircraft funded in fiscal 2024, and a production decision in fiscal 2025 to continue fielding aircraft.
The fiscal 2023 PB proposes a partial divestment of the E-3 AWACS fleet, 15 of 31 aircraft, and redirects funding to procure and field its replacement.
The E-7 system was developed by Australia for the Australian Defence Forces. The unbreakable U.S. and Australia alliance and interoperability amongst the armed services enabled the Department of the Air Force to leverage this considerable investment and exceptional capability.