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 The Boeing Company.
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 FY23 President’s Budget request includes $227 million in Research, Development, Test and Evaluation funds starting in FY23. These funds support the acquisition of a rapid prototype aircraft planned to deliver in FY27.
The notional schedule plans for a second rapid prototype aircraft funded in FY24, and a production decision in FY25 to continue fielding aircraft.
The FY23 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.