Wedgetail Aircraft Delivered to Boeing Australia for Airborne Early Warning and Control Modifications
The next chapter in the history of Project Wedgetail began yesterday with the delivery of a 737-700 aircraft to Boeing [NYSE: BA) Australia for modifications that will provide a new airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) capability for the Australian Defence Force.
Project Wedgetail is the largest and most complex commercial-to-military aircraft modification program ever undertaken in Australia. Six 737 AEW&C aircraft have been acquired with the first two being modified at a Boeing facility in Seattle. The other four will be modified at the Boeing Australia facility in Amberley, Queensland.
Patrick Gill, Boeing vice president of Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance programs, said, "This project demonstrates that Boeing Australia is a regional leader in aircraft modifications. It will generate new jobs and expand the company's in-country technical capability for future large-scale projects."
Workers will install a reinforced upper section where the aircraft's main Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array radar will be attached. Other extensive installations and modifications include new power and cooling systems, mission consoles and modifications to the environmental control and hydraulic systems.
Delivery of the six AEW&C aircraft is scheduled for 2008.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense and Department of Homeland Security; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.