Turkey has formally selected the Boeing 737 AEW&C programme for its first airborne early warning defence. Boeing is aggressively promoting the platform, which has already been chosen by Australia to meet its Project Wedgetail requirement. New details about the aircraft have also been released.

The 737 AEW&C builds on the success of the tried and tested E-3 Sentry, a Boeing 707-based AEW aircraft in service with the US Air Force, NATO, France and the Royal Air Force.

It is based on the airframe of the Next Generation Boeing 737-700 IGW, with state-of-the-art avionics, engines and an advanced two-man glass cockpit.

It uses a multirole electronically scanned active array radar, which can be fitted in more streamlined ‘top-hat' antenna, and the IFF system shares the primary radar antenna array, saving weight. "The Australia Defence Force selected four aircraft with an option on another three and Turkey requested six with an option on one more," says Patrick Gill, vice-president for 737 AEW&C programmes. "Within the next 10 years our aim is for there to be 50 platforms operating globally." Other potential customers include Chile, Egypt, Singapore (to replace its Northrop Gruman E-2C Hawkeyes), Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain, Thailand and the UAE. Boeing is also talking with South Korea and Italy.

Source: Flight Daily News