The E-7A Wedgetail represents an entirely new capability for the Australian Defence Force, providing an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platform that will gather information from a wide variety of sources, analyse it and distribute it to all friendly air and surface assets.
Air Force’s six E-7A Wedgetails can control the tactical battle space, providing direction for fighter aircraft, surface combatants and land based elements, as well as supporting aircraft such as tankers and intelligence platforms.
Based on the 737-700 commercial airliner airframe, the E-7A Wedgetail features advanced multirole electronically scanned radar and 10 state-of-the-art mission crew consoles that are able to track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously.
The E-7A Wedgetail can elevate its radar to 10,000 metres above the earth’s surface so that the radar can ‘see’ everything out to a range of hundreds of kilometres. With a cruising altitude of 10,000 metres, the E-7A Wedgetail can maintain surveillance over a surface area of 400,000 square kilometres at any given time. Over a 10-hour mission, the Wedgetail could cover over four million square kilometres.
The E-7A Wedgetail significantly multiplies the effectiveness of our existing Navy, Army and Air Force, and will help Australia maintain a capability edge well into the future.
The E-7A Wedgetail aircraft are operated by No 2 Squadron from RAAF Base Williamtown.
Initial Operational Capability for the E-7A Wedgetail platform was announced in November 2012.