Northrop Grumman has completed work to repair a damaged wing spar on a UK Royal Air Force Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne warning and control system aircraft.
Performed as part of the UK's Sentry whole-life support programme arrangement with Northrop, the work to repair the stress crack was undertaken at the company's Lake Charles Maintenance and Modification Center in Louisiana.
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The RAF's Sentry fleet played a key role during the UK's participation in last year's NATO-led operation to protect Libyan civilians, during which it proved airborne early warning, command and control and battle management services.
Six of the UK's aircraft flew a combined 213 missions and accumulated over 1,950 flight hours during the campaign, according to information released by the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force. They were operated from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and Trapani air base in Italy.
Assigned to the RAF's 8 Sqn at Waddington air base in Lincolnshire, the RAF's Sentry fleet totals seven CFM56-2A-engined E-3Ds, each carrying a Northrop APY-2 surveillance radar. The 707-based type will also this year be employed in support of security operations linked to the Olympic Games in London.