RAAF’s E-7A Wedgetail Fleet Celebrates 10 Years of Service

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)’s E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft fleet is celebrating 10 years since its introduction into the service.

RAAF operates six E-7A Wedgetail aircraft from RAAF Base Williamtown, which provide Australia with one of the most advanced air battlespace management capabilities in the world.

E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft - RAAF
A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control) aircraft at Tinker AFB. Photo by Kelly White.

Based on a Boeing 737-700, the E-7A Wedgetail combines long-range surveillance radar, secondary radar, passive detection surveillance receivers and tactical/strategic voice and data communications systems. This provides the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with its ability to survey, command, control and coordinate a joint air, sea and land battle in real time.

As the sole operating squadron for the platform, Commanding Officer of Number 2 Squadron, Wing Commander Jason Brown, said over the past 10 years the E-7A fleet had been regularly dispersed around the world supporting concurrent exercises and operations, often with all aircraft deployed simultaneously with mission success.

“As commanding officer during this significant milestone, it is a great honour and I am immensely proud of what has been achieved by the squadron, not only during my command but historically, at home and abroad,” Wing Commander Brown said.

Major contributions since the E-7A’s introduction into RAAF service include Operations Spate, Atlas and APEC Assist; providing concurrent support for Operation Okra; and achieving a high mission success rate with No. 2 Squadron E-7A maintenance and aircrew in support of the US-led coalition operations.

“At Operation Okra, the RAAF E-7A Wedgetail had responsibility for the command and control of all coalition aircraft in a ‘battle management area’ and crews regularly managed more than 80 combat aircraft during a single mission,” Wing Commander Brown said.

With many operational milestones and achievements to reflect on, 2020 also represents a significant year for No. 2 Squadron association members, with some marking the 50th anniversary of their service contribution to the Vietnam conflict. The squadron was awarded a Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and a United States Air Force Outstanding Unit Commendation. It also received a US Presidential Unit Citation for service in World War II.

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