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Why the E-7 is a Game-Changer for the US Air Force’s Future

Boeing has won a $1.2bn contract to carry out development activities for the Rapid Prototype Program of the United States Air Force’s E-7A aircraft fleet.

The rising threat landscape in today’s geopolitical environment, which has witnessed open conflicts on the European continent, has led countries to upgrade their existing airborne battle management capabilities in anticipation of potential peer or near-peer conflicts.

The US has moved to replace its aging E-3 Sentry aircraft with two new versions of the E-7 airborne early warning and control (AWACS) platform, following a $1.2bn announcement on 28 February.

The E-7A, which will bring Airborne Moving Target Indication and BMC2 capabilities, is a critical step in updating the US’s battle space awareness and management, enabling US and allied warfighters to engage in long-range kill chains. The work is slated to be completed by August 2024, according to the US Department of Defense.

The E-7 is combat-proven in challenging operational environments, and its open systems architecture and agile software design enable the aircraft’s capabilities to evolve and remain ahead of future threats.

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