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Revolutionizing the US Air Force: How the E-7 Takes the Lead in Modernization

Boeing has received a contract worth $1.2bn for development work related to the Rapid Prototype Program for the E-7A aircraft fleet of the United States Air Force (USAF). The current geopolitical space is marked by an increasing threat environment with open conflicts breaking out on the European continent, leading to countries upgrading their existing airborne battle management capabilities.

The US government has recently announced the acquisition of two new variants of the E-7 airborne early warning and control platform as a replacement for the ageing E-3 Sentry aircraft.

The replacement is necessary in the face of the declining mission capable rates of the E-3 platform due to age. Harry Boneham, a defence analyst at GlobalData, states that the E-7A platform is an essential step in updating the battle space awareness and management of the US and its allies, with the ability to engage in long-range kill chains. The work under the new contract is expected to be finished by

August 2024, according to the US Department of Defense. The E-7 Wedgetail aircraft is combat-proven and has an open systems architecture, which allows for its capabilities to evolve and remain ahead of future threats. It tracks multiple airborne and maritime threats simultaneously through the MESA sensor with 360-degree coverage. The E-7 Wedgetail platform incorporates active electronically scanned array radar antennae instead of a rotating one like its predecessor, the E-3 Sentry.

This advancement and the need to maintain aerial sovereignty are likely to drive market growth in the fixed-wing aircraft sector, which is currently the largest by forecast value, according to GlobalData’s “US Defense Market 2022-2027” report.

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