Boeing has signed a new agreement that brings together current and future upgrades and sustainment for the life of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) fleet of six E-7A Wedgetail aircraft.
Darren Edwards, Boeing Defence Australia vice president and managing director, said the Wedgetail Head Agreement Deed – which consolidates the existing Wedgetail In-Service Support and Project AIR 5077 Phase 5A contracts – is a testament to the proven success of the integrated Boeing, Commonwealth and RAAF team to deliver for the warfighter.
The agreement would help to ensure Wedgetail’s position as one of the most advanced air battlespace management capability in the world.
“The fleet sustainment and upgrades that will be delivered under this agreement will ensure the Wedgetail remains the centrepiece of Australia’s national air defence capability and a critical asset for the RAAF.”
Lifecycle upgrades and sustainment for the E-7A Wedgetail is valued at more than AUD $1.5 billion and Boeing’s support for the airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) global fleet across Australia, Turkey and the Republic of Korea provides employment for approximately 600 Australians and work across 200 local suppliers.
Head of Aerospace Systems Division Air Vice-Marshal Catherine Roberts said, “This agreement and the award of the In-Service Support contract extension acknowledges the continued excellent performance and partnering relationship between Boeing Defence Australia and the Australian Department of Defence. It is an important step in meeting our First Principles Review reform priorities while continuing to deliver world-leading fifth generation Air Force capability.”
The E-7A Wedgetail is based on a Boeing 737-700, with the addition of an advanced Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array radar and 10 state-of-the-art mission crew consoles which can track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously.