Boeing has delivered the last of six Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft to Australia’s Air Force.
The Wedgetail is a modified Boeing 737-700 airframe equipped with electronically scanned radar and other detection and control instrumentation. The plane is designed to create an electronic picture of the airborne battlefield and direct offensive and defensive forces.
The force of half-a-dozen Wedgetails is based at the Royal Australian Air Force Base at Williamtown, Newcastle, Australia.
The Wedgetail program was dogged with program delays involving integration of the plane’s electronic systems. The first of the aircraft was delivered three years late in 2009. Boeing took a $770 million write-down on the program in 2006.
Both Korea and Turkey has ordered versions of the Wedgetail for their own defense forces. Italy and the United Arab Emirates are reportedly candidates to buy the plane.