A Boeing E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has completed a visit to the USA aimed at maximising the combat effectiveness of crews.

The deployment saw an RAAF E-7A from No. 2 Sqn working with the US Air Force Weapons School from 20 May to 12 June, the USAF’s Air Combat Command says.

E-7 USAF RAAF crew joint training

Source: US Air Force

A joint RAAF/USAF crew train aboard the E-7A

“The E-7A will be a critical node in the [USAF’s] ability to gain and maintain air superiority in support of combatant commander priority missions,” says USAF Lieutenant Colonel Shahin Namazi, E-7A director of operations.

“The E-7A will provide advanced airborne moving target indication and battle management, command and control capabilities, and advanced multi-role electronically scanned array radar that enhances airborne battle management and enables long-range kill chains against potential adversaries.”

The USAF refers to the No. 2 Sqn as a “multi-national integrated unit,” that will help hone “E-7A tactics with air superiority and maritime strike forces.”

Underlining the role of maritime strike for the E-7A, in early May an RAAF E-7A participating in an exercise transmitted data to USA and Filipino units, helping them sink a target ship.

Working with the RAAF, which has operated the E-7A since 2008, is seen as facilitating the UK Royal Air Force’s and USAF’s eventual deployment of the platform. In 2022, the USAF picked the 737-derived E-7 to replace its obsolescent E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft.

E-7A Nellis

Source: US Air Force

The USAF is working closely with the RAAF to develop its own E-7A capability

In December 2022, the governments of Australia and USA announced that the two countries would work closely on the E-7 programme. The USAF states that 70 airmen from 13 career fields are working with No. 2 squadron and will return to the USAF in 2024 to support the integration of the type.

The RAF plans to obtain three E-7As and the USAF 26. The RAAF operates six E-7As.

“Joint and combined exercises are essential for force generation and technical integration with our coalition partners,” says RAAF Wing Commander Samuel Thorpe, commanding officer of No. 2 Squadron.

“Through the unique capabilities of the E-7A, the survivability and lethality of the joint and combined force is increased significantly. To further highlight the enduring nature of our partnership, No. 2 Squadron has trained and continues to train Royal Air Force and US Air Forces aircrew, maintainers and support staff.”