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Turkish Wedgetail Now Soaring

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  • Turkish Wedgetail Now Soaring

    as tests on aircraft # 1 are now underway
    PICTURE: Boeing tests Turkey's Peace Eagle 737 AEW&C
    By Graham Warwick

    Boeing has completed the first mission-system flight test of a 737 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft for Turkey's Peace Eagle programme.

    The aircraft's communications system was tested during the flight from Boeing Field, Washington, including establishing links with Boeing's ground-based system integration laboratory.

    The aircraft is the first of four 737 AEW&Cs for Turkey. The remaining three aircraft are being modified by Turkish Aerospace Industries at Akinci near Ankara. The first Turkish-modified aircraft is expected to fly in the second quarter of 2008.

    Peace Eagle aircraft are based on the Wedgetail AEW&C developed for Australia, but with Turkey-unique computing system and ground segement. The electronic support measures system is being integrated by Turkish company Havelsan.

    The 737 AEW&C is equipped with a Northrop Grumman MESA surveillance radar with fixed electronically scanned antenna mounted above the fuselage.

    Significant development delays mean the first two Wedgetail aircraft will now be delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force in the first quarter of 2009, with the remaining four - now being modified at RAAF Amberley - to be delivered by the end of 2009.

    Turkey's aircraft are now expected to be delivered in 2010, a delay of around three years. South Korea is expected to take delivery of four 737 AEW&Cs between 2011 and 2012.
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