The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has completed the integration of major subsystems aboard a 737 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft for Australia's Project Wedgetail.
The subsystems include communications, navigation, mission computing, radar and electronic warfare self protection. Boeing conducted tests aboard the aircraft and at its System Integration Lab in Kent, Wash., using a variety of simulations.
"The tests demonstrated that the systems worked separately and together, and that they were compatible with the aircraft," said Ross Dessert, Boeing Wedgetail program manager.
Integration is a major step toward functional checkout of the AEW&C system with the aircraft at the end of April. FAA certification and qualification testing are scheduled for this summer.
Ongoing integration of the Electronic Support Measures (ESM) subsystem will continue through functional checkout. ESM is a passive sensor that detects electronic signals.
Boeing will deliver the first two of six Wedgetail aircraft to Australia in March 2009, and the remaining four aircraft by mid-2009. Turkey and the Republic of Korea also have purchased four 737 AEW&C aircraft each.
The 737-700 features 21st century avionics, navigation equipment and flight deck features. Because of its advanced technology, the aircraft requires minimal downtime for maintenance. The 737 series is one of the most popular and reliable jet aircraft in the world, resulting in a worldwide base of suppliers, parts and support equipment.
The aircraft also is equipped with Northrop Grumman's Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array antenna with integrated identification friend or foe capabilities. The system also includes a flexible, open architecture for cost-effective future upgrades, an extensive communications suite and aerial refueling capability.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32.4 billion business with 72,000 employees worldwide.