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UK Orders Wedgetails

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TonyO
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UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by TonyO » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:35 am

Just announced...
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has signed a $1.98Bn deal to purchase five E-7 aircraft.

The E-7 fleet will replace the current Sentry aircraft and ensure the continued delivery of the UK’s Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) capability.

Named “Wedgetail” by the Australian Department for Defence, the E-7 aircraft can fly for long periods of time and manage the battlespace from the sky.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“The E-7 provides a technological edge in an increasingly complex battlespace, allowing our ships and aircraft to track and target adversaries more effectively than ever. This deal also strengthens our vital military partnership with Australia.

“We will operate the same state-of-the-art F-35 jets and world-class Type-26 warships, and this announcement will help us work even more closely together to tackle the global threats we face.”

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, said:

“Today’s announcement about the procurement of five E-7 ‘Wedgetail’ Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft is excellent news for both the RAF and wider Defence. This world-class capability, already proven with our Royal Australian Air Force partners, will significantly enhance our ability to deliver decisive airborne command and control and builds on the reputation of our E3D Sentry Force.

“Along with Defence’s investment in other cutting-edge aircraft, E-7 will form a core element of the Next Generation Air Force, able to overcome both current and future complex threats.”

The new fleet will be able to track multiple airborne and maritime targets at the same time, using the information it gathers to provide situational awareness and direct other assets such as fighter jets and warships.

The E-7 is a proven aircraft that is currently in-service with the Royal Australian Air Force and has been used on operations in the battle against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

The E-7 is based on a standard Boeing 737 NG airliner modified to carry a sophisticated Northrop Grumman active electronically-scanned radar. This can cover four million square kilometres over a 10-hour period.

Modification of the aircraft will be carried out in the UK, sustaining over 200 highly skilled jobs at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group in Cambridge, and there will also be opportunities for British suppliers to be involved in future training and support arrangements.

This announcement builds on a growing military capability and industrial relationship between the UK and Australia, after the Australian government selected the British Type 26 design for its future frigate.

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StandardTom
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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by StandardTom » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:02 am

The mention of Cambridge is interesting!
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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by acw367 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:07 am

Here is a link to the Written Ministerial Statement which gives further details. https://www.parliament.uk/business/publ ... /HCWS1437/

Stroudy
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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by Stroudy » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:20 am

With some refuelling probes hopefully. Its ok, my tongue is firmly in my cheek. Although....

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TonyO
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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by TonyO » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:28 am

The Ministerial Statement is interesting, stating that two more E-3Ds will be removed from service, leaving a fleet of four.

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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by reaper493 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:53 am

There has been two E-3Ds that haven't moved in a long time (years) at Waddington 107 (54sqd special) and 102. Both have various bits of black/green tape covering up panels and have some sort of sheild behind the cockpit glass, odds are its those two.

So it leaves 101,103,104 and 106 operational.

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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by Agent K » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:29 pm

StandardTom wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:02 am
The mention of Cambridge is interesting!
Marshall's are already doing work for the P-8 (fuel tanks etc.), this shouldn't come as a surprise.

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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by TonyO » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:49 pm

But the Marshall's P-8 work is tiny in comparison to what is planned for E-7.

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StandardTom
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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by StandardTom » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:52 pm

TonyO wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:49 pm
But the Marshall's P-8 work is tiny in comparison to what is planned for E-7.
I hadn’t heard much about the P-8 work, so that is news to me.
Agent K wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:29 pm
StandardTom wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:02 am
The mention of Cambridge is interesting!
Marshall's are already doing work for the P-8 (fuel tanks etc.), this shouldn't come as a surprise.
When I said interesting, I was considering the possibility of photographing them at Cambridge, depending on whether the work they are planning to carry out would dictate that.
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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by Agent K » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:58 pm

TonyO wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:49 pm
But the Marshall's P-8 work is tiny in comparison to what is planned for E-7.
Mmmmm...... but the relationship and infrastructure is in place.

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TonyO
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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by TonyO » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:54 pm

Marshall is currently building the fuel tanks for the RAF's P-8...paltry workshare. E-7 would be conversion from green airframe to Wedgetail.

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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by ColintheCaterpillar » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:40 pm

Stroudy wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:20 am
With some refuelling probes hopefully. Its ok, my tongue is firmly in my cheek. Although....
E-3 wasn’t designed with a probe but the E-3D was delivered with one. Maybe with Marshall’s and UK plc’s P&D tanking expertise we’ll see a probe conversion fitted.

Lots of AEW tasking is from NATO anyway, which opens lots of tanker “doors”.

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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by Agent K » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:48 pm

ColintheCaterpillar wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:40 pm
E-3 wasn’t designed with a probe but the E-3D was delivered with one. Maybe with Marshall’s and UK plc’s P&D tanking expertise we’ll see a probe conversion fitted.

Lots of AEW tasking is from NATO anyway, which opens lots of tanker “doors”.
With the E-7 nose essentially being similar to the E-3 it's hopefully a possibility.

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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by PeteHemsley » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:15 pm

Agent K wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:48 pm
ColintheCaterpillar wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:40 pm
E-3 wasn’t designed with a probe but the E-3D was delivered with one. Maybe with Marshall’s and UK plc’s P&D tanking expertise we’ll see a probe conversion fitted.

Lots of AEW tasking is from NATO anyway, which opens lots of tanker “doors”.
With the E-7 nose essentially being similar to the E-3 it's hopefully a possibility.
In what way may I ask?

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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by KyleG » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:23 pm

PeteHemsley wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:15 pm
Agent K wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:48 pm
ColintheCaterpillar wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:40 pm
E-3 wasn’t designed with a probe but the E-3D was delivered with one. Maybe with Marshall’s and UK plc’s P&D tanking expertise we’ll see a probe conversion fitted.

Lots of AEW tasking is from NATO anyway, which opens lots of tanker “doors”.
With the E-7 nose essentially being similar to the E-3 it's hopefully a possibility.
In what way may I ask?
Fairly sure it'll be more complex than this in reality, but essentially the 707 and 737 (plus 727 and I believe 767 and 777) share a common nose design.
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Ghost from above
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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by Ghost from above » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:36 pm

It's a win win for a common airframe between the P-8 and the E-7. Big savings and the ability to access a lot of British companies that currently provide support to the 737 airframe. Also allows flexibility of deployment in the north with the new P-8 facility at Lossie.
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kenskyhawk
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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by kenskyhawk » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:24 am

I seem to remember that all 707,727 and 737 models have same fuselage cross section and built on same jigs hence same nose. C-135 models built on different jigs and have a smaller fuselage diameter so different front end. Hence probe fit should be straightforward on E-7. I did say should?

Blackjack56
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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by Blackjack56 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:03 am

I haven't read the full report but where does this leave our fleets of sentinels and shadows which have a recce role too?, or are they going to be carrying out completely different missions or even working together?.

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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by turmo » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:10 pm

Ghost from above wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:36 pm
It's a win win for a common airframe between the P-8 and the E-7.
It's not a common airframe, though there are many common components. The Poseidon is assembled on a separate line at Renton due to the extensive aiframe changes.

Now if the MoD had specified the Poseidon airframe with the Wedgetail systems, that would have made some sense. But would have required flying-around empty weapons bays all the time.
kenskyhawk wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:24 am
I seem to remember that all 707,727 and 737 models have same fuselage cross section and built on same jigs hence same nose.
No, all three have common cabin dimensions but different fuselage cross-sections. The 727 even has two different cross-sections fore and aft of the wing. The 707 has much a larger lower lobe.


Techy note: there is no such thing as an E-7 under the DoD system. Well, there was from 1981 to 1982. Does no-one wonder why the E-8 JSTARS has a later designation?! I thought we were meant to be geeks in here!

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Re: UK Orders Wedgetails

Post by ColintheCaterpillar » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:41 pm

kenskyhawk wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:24 am
I seem to remember that all 707,727 and 737 models have same fuselage cross section and built on same jigs hence same nose. C-135 models built on different jigs and have a smaller fuselage diameter so different front end. Hence probe fit should be straightforward on E-7. I did say should?
I’m sure it can be done. However, worth noting even the common 737NG airframes of the E-7 and P-8 have completely different plumbing for the boom receptacle IIRC. That said, I believe E-7s is closer in design to that on the E-3.

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