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Boeing 737 AEW&C: wedgetail, price, specs, radar, and engine. The Boeing 737 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft is made for countries that are not with the ability of or need a much greater 767 or 707 AWACS capability. The basic aircraft is basically a Boeing Business Jet, which has a Boeing 737-700 with a more powerful Boeing 737-800 wing to support extra weight and a BBJ fuel tank.
The Boeing 737 AEW&C platform, with sophisticated technology and complete interoperability with E-3 aircraft and 767 AEW&C, is made to meet Australia’s air monitoring needs. The new AEW&C platform will be equipped with an electronically scanned 360 degree, Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA), which is able to track air and sea targets simultaneously.
Joining Boeing and Boeing Australia Minimal on the Wedgetail team is Northrop Grumman Electronic Sensors and Systems Division (ESSD), previously Westinghouse Electronic Systems Business Unit; and British Aerospace Australia.
Boeing Australia is accountable for providing a leading system, technique and product support team. In January 2010, Boeing was awarded a $ 600 million contract to provide project management and technical services for the five-year AEW&C program. BAE Systems Australia will supply electronic support measures and electronic war self protection systems. Qantas Airways was awarded a contract for aircraft maintenance. The first two aircraft were completed by Boeing in the US; the rest will be modified in Australia.
Northrop Grumman will make and build radars, and British Aerospace will help style and establish radars and other sensors. Boeing Australia will be directly involved with aircraft and system integration. Boeing Australia and British Aerospace, the main defense contractors in Australia, will take the main supporting role for the Australian Defense Force until the 21st century.
AEW&C will use a “Top Hat” radar in a phased array, MESA sensor established by Northrop Grumman and installed in a rectangle above the fuselage on the back of the aircraft. The antenna alone has a weight of 2950 kg and a length of 10.7 m. However, it provides practical solutions for front and rear coverage while maintaining a low drag profile and allowing the system to be installed on a medium-size Boeing 737 platform without significant impact on aircraft performance. Boeing 737 airborne early warning aircraft cost from $ 150 million to $ 190 million, compared to around $ 400 million for 767 AWACS. AEW&C carries a mission crew of between 6 and 10 in the front cabin.
Additional modifications consist of the new upper lobe section 46 to support the antenna. New section 41 with a cut-out for an air-to-air refueling container, two ventral fins to balance the antenna and nose tip, a wingtip system, and a tail plug measuring system. The aircraft will also have husk and flare dispensers and around 60 antenna and sensor holes. IDG will be increased to 180 kVA. DOW is expected to be greater than 50,000 kg.
Boeing 737 AEW&C First Flight
The first flight of Boeing 737 AEW&C aircraft with a radar system and mission occurred at Boeing Field in Seattle in May 2004. Flight testing of the fuselage occurred from May 2004 to July 2005 with the aircraft recording greater than 500 hours of flight on 245 flights. These aircraft appear extraordinary in terms of avionics, structure, systems, characteristics and flight handling performance. This was followed by flight test mission systems, consisting of the MESA radar. All seemed to be working out for this project until 2006 when the first delay was announced because of problems establishing and integrating with certain software and hardware components. Deliveries began in Australia by the end of 2009 and reached full operational capability in November 2012.
The aircraft will be known as “Wedgetail” by the RAAF after the Australian Wedgetail Eagle, which, according to Aussies, “has a very acute vision, ranges widely in prey, protects its territory without compromise and remains high for a long time.” Turkey AF will call them “Peace Eagle”, perhaps for the same reason, Boeing hopes to sell up to 30 AEW&C s in 2016.
Boeing 737 AEW&C Engines
The aircraft is equipped with two CFM56-7B24 International CFM engines, each rated 118kN. It has a flight boom container and a fixed probe that provides dual fueling capabilities in flight. The CFM56-7B24 engine is also equipped with dual annular combustor for low emission capability, general core and low pressure turbine. The aircraft reduces fuel combustion using innovative thermodynamic cycles.
Boeing 737 AEW&C Specs
The plane chosen for Wedgetail was a Boeing 737-700 increase in gross weight variant (IGW), based on the Boeing Business Jet fuselage. It was flown by two crew members with between six and ten mission members.
The aircraft’s maximum takeoff weight is 171,000 lb (77,110 kg). It flies at an altitude of 30,000 feet-40,000 feet with a maximum operating height of 41,000 feet. The time at the station is estimated to be greater than nine hours.
The maximum dash and normal cruising speed of this aircraft are 955 km/ hr and 759 km/ hr respectively. The range is 7,040 km and the service ceiling is 12,500 m.
The engine operates at an altitude of 30,000 feet to 40,000 feet with a maximum operating height of 41,000 feet. It has a sophisticated flight deck, avionics and navigation equipment. A broad communication package is also consisted of, which has three HF communication systems, eight VHF/ UHF along with the 4A and Link 11 systems.
Boeing 737 AEW&C Cockpit And Avionics
The Sophisticated Systems Division of BAE Systems North America supplies the main elements of avionics aircraft missions, consisting of the appearance of tactical cockpit missions, command and control consoles and mission computers. There are six multirole/ multipurpose mission consoles with ultra-high resolution flat panel tactical displays mounted on aircraft. Equipment production is being carried out at the BAE Innovative Systems Greenlawn facility.
The computer uses sophisticated signal processing algorithms to analyze, group and prioritize data. This data is presented to the mission crew in an integrated situation display on the system console.
Open system architecture ensures the system can be upgraded and expanded. AEW&C Wedgetail aircraft are compatible and can be operated with warning aircraft and E-3 and 767 AWACS control systems. The AEW&C Peace Eagle aircraft, aimed at Turkey, is being equipped with EADS Defense Electronics multisensor integration software.
Boeing AEW&C Radar
The electronically scanned MESA multi-scan radar array is being supplied by the Northrop Grumman System and Electronic Sensor Division, based in Baltimore. Adelaide Tenix Defense System, Australia, supplies several components and modules for radar MESA provides 360 degree coverage and a range of over 200 nm.
This scan displays a series of sending and receiving modules, which operate in the L-band and share three holes to provide 360-degree coverage. Radar systems provide high-level operational capabilities because these systems are dynamically arranged to suit changing mission requirements.
When an operator needs a remote view of the selected sector from the operational area, the relevant system mode can be selected to start searching the sector at greater than twice the nominal uniform surveillance range.
An integrated identification friend or foe system (IFF) uses the same aperture as radar primary to avoid target correlation problems. And the IFF system has an operational range of greater than 300 nm.
The unique Radome ‘top hat’ provides a low aerodynamic drag profile while meeting requirements for front and rear coverage. Two large ropes are installed at the bottom on the back of the fuselage.
Strakes provide an aerodynamic balance to offset the effects of MESA Radoma on the upper surface of the fuselage. In January 2005, the flight test was temporarily suspended while the surface of the radome was raised around 100 mm, to improve radar performance.
BAE Systems Australia is in charge of self-protection electronic warfare and electronic support measuring subsystems for Wedgetail. Elta Electronics Israel was chosen to supply the sophisticated ESM/ ELINT electronic support system. This system provides 360-degree instantaneous surveillance and is similar to the Elta ESM system on the RAAF P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft.
Boeing 737 AEW & C Price and Orders
The first two aircraft, which were able to maintain peace and train, were sent to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on November 26, 2009. Both aircraft began operating with the RAAF in April 2010. The third aircraft was sent in May 2010 and fourth in December 2010. In September 2011, the fifth aircraft entered service and the sixth and last aircraft was delivered in May 2012.
In May 2002, the Turkish Government signed a $ 1.6 billion contract with Boeing for four Boeing 737 AEW & C systems, with two more options. And received US Government approval in September 2003. Boeing modified the first Aerospace Industry and Tusas from Ankara and the other three. The first aircraft for local modifications arrived in March 2006.
In August 2006, Boeing 737 AEW&C was selected as the ‘sole candidate’ for South Korea’s E-X requirements for the delivery of four reconnaissance aircraft in 2012. The $ 1.6 billion contract was offered to Boeing in November 2006.
Peace Eagle’s first flight remained in September 2007, while the first aircraft modified by TAI flew in July 2008. The second aircraft modification happened in Ankara and Turkey in June 2008 and the mission system and flight checks were completed by the end. in 2008. Three of the four Boeing 737 AEW&C reconnaissance aircraft, called the Peace Eye, were sent to South Korea in May 2012. The fourth and final aircraft was sent in October 2012.