Australia's Boeing 737-based Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft has demonstrated some of its performance potential in recent exercises. However, the aircraft has continued to experience "problems with radar subsystem maturity and stability and integrated system performance", says the Department of Defence.
The aircraft underwent an operational evaluation in Exercise Arnhem Thunder in the Northern Territory in late April. All aspects of the aircraft's performance were evaluated during the exercise, the results of which will contribute to the process of deciding a way forward for the programme, now more than three years late.
An independent assessment of the Wedgetail system's Northrop Grumman multirole electronically scanned array radar by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory will also be included as part of this process, with the DoD yet to receive its report.
A summit to decide the future of the project is scheduled for June. "The way ahead will be determined once the Lincoln Lab report, the Exercise Arnhem Thunder report and the many reports arising from the conduct of the formal acceptance test and evaluation programme have been received and considered in a holistic way," says the DoD.
Wedgetail in the Flight archives: Advance Warning