The first phase of upgrades to Australia’s E-7A fleet has been completed, paving the way for a suite of world-first modifications to enhance its capability as a key military asset for the Australian Defence Force and allied partners.
Under the Wedgetail AIR 5077 Phase 5A program, Boeing Defence Australia is leading a global Boeing team to deliver structural and software upgrades to the Royal Australian Air Force’s Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) fleet.
The on-time completion of the first stage of Phase 5A equipped the fleet of six aircraft with satellite position broadcast technology and the latest version of a traffic collision avoidance system. These upgrades will keep the aircraft compliant with mandated changes in the civilian environment.
The Wedgetail upgrade program is a key element of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) strategy of becoming an integrated fifth-generation force, said Trevor Smith, Phase 5A project manager for the ADF.
“The changes being made to Australia’s Wedgetail fleet will allow us to share large amounts of strategic and tactical data more easily in a battle space environment,” Smith said. “Being able to quickly exchange information, such as the location of threats, with our allies and across different platforms means we can combine potent capabilities more effectively during joint operations.
“The Wedgetail is the centerpiece of our national air defense capability, and it continues to be a critical asset in protecting our warfighters in missions and exercises overseas.”
BDA’s general manager of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance Scott Carpendale praised the efforts of the global team in delivering the first round of upgrades on schedule.
“The Wedgetail program demonstrates the strength we bring to our international customers when we operate as one Boeing,” said Carpendale.
“Our Australian team worked closely with Airborne Surveillance Command & Control organisation in Oklahoma City to deliver the updates and that relationship allowed us to draw on the expertise of our people across the globe.
“Phase 5A is delivering world-class support and global AEW&C capability for our Australian customer and they are extremely happy with the result.”