The Wedge wing

US aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, has conducted successful flight tests of a new airborne early warning system in Australia.

Two 737-700 aircraft were fitted with the Wedgetail configuration and underwent a series of functional tests to verify the airworthiness of the system and structure.
The flight followed major aircraft modifications performed by Boeing Defence Australia. It included the installation and checkout of an advanced Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) antenna, ventral fins and mission system equipment.
The modified aircraft features Northrop Grumman’s MESA antenna with integrated identification friend-or-foe capabilities; a flexible, open architecture for cost-effective future upgrades; an extensive communications suite; and aerial refuelling capability.
The Wedgetail program includes six modified 737-700 aircraft plus ground support segments for mission crew training, mission support and system maintenance. Three aircraft are currently in modification in Australia while the other three are being flight-tested at Boeing’s facility in Seattle, USA.
Boeing will finish installing mission system equipment on both aircraft and conduct a series of ground checkouts later this year.

Justin Cunningham

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