FARNBOROUGH: Turkey's first 737-based AEW aircraft makes UK debut

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Boeing's 737-based airborne early warning and control system aircraft is making its UK debut this week, with the company having brought the Turkish air force's first example to the show.

Ankara has ordered four AEW&C platforms, which feature equipment including a Northrop Grumman multi-role electronically scanned array, or "Top Hat" on the modified airliner's fuselage.

Boeing is in negotiations with Turkey over the delivery schedule for the new type, which has been the subject of development delays. Turkish Aerospace Industries has already completed work to modify the air force's second and third aircraft, and the fourth is "well under way", Boeing says.

turkish air force 737 aew&c, apg photography
 © APG Photography

Turkey could receive its first operational aircraft during 2011, an industry source suggests.

The Royal Australian Air Force is now conducting training with its first three of six "Wedgetail" AEW&C aircraft, and Boeing also recently conducted the first flight of the adapted 737 for South Korea, its remaining other customer for the type.