Because the Boeing 707 is no longer in production, the E-3 mission package has been fitted into the Boeing E-767 for the Japan Air Self Defense Forces.
The E-10 MC2A was intended to replace USAF E-3s—along with the RC-135 and the E-8 Joint STARS,
but the program was canceled by the Department of Defense.

Boeing E-3 Sentry "1977"

RoleAirborne early warning and control (AEW&C)
National originUnited States
ManufacturerBoeing Defense, Space & Security
First flightEC-137D: 9 February 1972
E-3: 25 May 1976
IntroductionMarch 1977
StatusOperational
Primary usersUnited States Air Force
NATO
Royal Air Force
Royal Saudi Air Force
Produced1977–1992
Number built68
Developed fromBoeing 707

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Boeing E-3 Sentry
"1977"

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Boeing E-3 Sentry "1977"

The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an American airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft developed by Boeing. E-3s are commonly known as AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System). Derived from the Boeing 707 airliner, it provides all-weather surveillance, command, control, and communications, and is used by the United States Air Force, NATO, Royal Air Force, French Air and Space Force, and Royal Saudi Air Force. The E-3 is distinguished by the distinctive rotating radar dome (rotodome) above the fuselage. Production ended in 1992 after 68 aircraft had been built.

In the mid-1960s, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) was seeking an aircraft to replace its piston-engined Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star, which had been in service for over a decade. After issuing preliminary development contracts to three companies, the USAF picked Boeing to construct two airframes to test Westinghouse Electric and Hughes‘s competing radars. Both radars used pulse-Doppler technology, with Westinghouse’s design emerging as the contract winner. Testing on the first production E-3 began in October 1975.

Design

The E-3 Sentry’s airframe is a modified Boeing 707-320B Advanced model. Modifications include a rotating radar dome (rotodome), uprated hydraulics from 241 to 345 bar (3500–5000 PSI) to drive the rotodome,[17] single-point ground refueling, air refueling, and a bail-out tunnel or chute. A second bail-out chute was deleted to cut mounting costs.[18]

USAF and NATO E-3s have an unrefueled range of 7,400 km (4,600 mi) or 8 hours of flying.[19] The newer E-3 versions bought by France, Saudi Arabia, and the UK are equipped with newer CFM56-2 turbofan engines, and these can fly for about 11 hours or more than 9,250 km (5,750 mi).[20] The Sentry’s range and on-station time can be increased through air-to-air refueling and the crews can work in shifts by the use of an on-board crew rest and meals area. The aircraft are equipped with one toilet in the rear, and one behind the cockpit. Saudi E-3s were delivered with an additional toilet in the rear.

 France
The French Air and Space Force purchased 4 E-3F aircraft.
 NATO
18 E-3 AWACS were purchased – 1 was written off in Greece, 3 were retired from service. Mainly responsible for monitoring European NATO airspace, they have also been deployed outside the area in support of NATO commitments.
 Saudi Arabia
The Royal Saudi Air Force purchased five E-3A aircraft in 1983.


 United Kingdom
The Royal Air Force purchased seven E-3Ds by October 1987, designated Sentry AEW.1 in British service. As of December 2020, only three remain in service after one was withdrawn from service in 2009 to be used as spares, two were withdrawn in March 2019 and a further one withdrawn in January 2020.
 United States
The United States Air Force has 31 operational E-3s as of December 2019
Tactical Air Command 1976–1992
Air Combat Command 1992–present

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Boeing E-3 Sentry "1977"

NATO intends to extend the operational status of its AWACS until 2035 when it is due to be replaced by the Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) program. The Royal Air Force (RAF) chose to limit investment in its E-3D fleet in the early 2000s, diverting Sentry upgrade funds to a replacement program. On 22 March 2019, the UK Defence Secretary announced a $1.98 billion contract to purchase five E-7 Wedgetails.[

Specifications

    • Crew: Flight crew: 4 (aircraft commander, pilot, navigator, flight engineer)
    Mission crew: 13–19
    • Length: 152 ft 11 in (46.61 m)
    • Wingspan: 145 ft 9 in (44.42 m)
    • Height: 41 ft 4 in (12.60 m)
    • Wing area: 3,050 sq ft (283 m2)
    • Empty weight: 185,000 lb (83,915 kg)
    • Gross weight: 344,000 lb (156,036 kg)
    • Max takeoff weight: 347,000 lb (157,397 kg)
    • Powerplant: 4 × Pratt and Whitney TF33-PW-100A turbofan, 21,500 lbf (96 kN) thrust each
  • Maximum speed: 461 kn (531 mph, 854 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 310 kn (360 mph, 580 km/h) optimum
  • Range: 4,000 nmi (4,600 mi, 7,400 km)
  • Endurance: more than 8 hours without refuelling
  • Service ceiling: 29,000 ft (8,800 m) minimum
  •  

Aircrafttoaal encyclopedia

Because the Boeing 707 is no longer in production, the E-3 mission package has been fitted into the Boeing E-767 for the Japan Air Self Defense Forces. The E-10 MC2A was intended to replace USAF E-3s—along with the RC-135 and the E-8 Joint STARS, but the program was canceled by the Department of Defense.