DRA February 2020: Eyes in the sky: Asia-Pacific Airborne Early Warning programmes

Airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft are versatile force multipliers that are in high demand in the Asia-Pacific region, especially because of tensions in the South China Sea and around North Korea. Existing customers are using their aircraft for air, sea and land monitoring – for example, in 2019, Pakistan and India both used their AEW aircraft during border skirmishes. With the proliferation of sophisticated yet smaller and lower cost platforms, AEW aircraft are making steady inroads into the Asia-Pacific.

AUSTRALIA The Royal Australian Air Force operates a fleet of six Boeing 737-700 (E-7A) Wedgetail AEW aircraft, which have been successfully used operationally overseas. From September 2014 the type has been deployed to the Middle East under Operation Okra to coordinate coalition aircraft in the region. Their successful deployment came after teething problems with software and radar and a three year delivery delay (eventually deliveries were between 2009 and 2012 with full operational capability in May 2015). The Wedgetail is…

Read more in the current issue of DRA (Free to read with registration or via Facebook/Linkedin): https://defencereviewasia.partica.online/defence-review-asia/dra-february-2020/features/eyes-in-the-sky-asia-pacific-airborne-early-warning-programmes

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