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bikerthai
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Future E-7A buy

Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:56 pm

More ground work is being done to evaluate (justify?) the purchase of the E-7A for the USAF.

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/10/the ... wedgetail/

According to an Oct. 19 notice posted on SAM.gov, the service will “award a sole source Time and Materials (T&M) contract to The Boeing Company to perform studies, analyses, and activities required to ascertain the current E-7A baseline configuration and determine what additional work the government might need to accomplish meeting USAF configuration standards and mandates.”


Additional intrigue would be how this would impact the Korean E-X evaluation.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... dar-planes

And whether a bulk US buy would drop the price enough for the UK to get their numbers back to 5.

bt
 
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par13del
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:34 pm

Being snippy, the US Air Force has no intention of using any capability anyone else has in the Wedgetail, they will want to put their stamp on every single thing, so following that logic, why not simply put up their requirements in a RFP and be done with it, let the congress work out whether they want to support local industry versus go international.
The E3 has been around for decades, the actual need is known, a frame that has high dispatch reliability, where this will get screwed up is in all the little fancy things will will prevent the systems from tracking any a/c flying within its radar range because they can't identify the paint on the a/c.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Oct 21, 2021 4:26 pm

The UK configuration by nature is slightly different from the Korean or even the RAAF configuration due to computer hardware obsolescence. By the time the USAF finalize their requirements, some hardware on the UK aircraft will also be obsolete.

Way back when the Wedgetail was designed, the radar module was designed at a specific voltage. There was talk that if they could increase the voltage, they could shrink the design or have a more powerful radar. The risk was higher with more development to which they did not have time.

Perhaps the technology has caught up to where if they put in some money now, they can get a better radar.

Not saying this is the case here though. Not sure what system mentioned in the article is all about.

bt
 
CX747
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:32 pm

A good first step in the E-3 replacement. Buying the Wedgetail is a no-brainer. It is best in class, has combat hours under its belt and an open architecture for future needs. Guys can also train with the C-40/P-8 crews.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:57 pm

In the Pacific theater, it would be interoperable with ROK and RAAF.

As for competitive bidding, are there any platform readily available out there that is suitable for the Pacific theater? The distances there are vast.

bt
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:30 pm

The P-8 would be a good frame for this, it has in flight refueling, already has defense capability and hard points. It could possibly be a Maxed P-8, but I think the current engines would be preferred to keep maintenance simple.

Often this kind of study provides the specific information for an RFP, I see similar things in the DOD facility realm. Similarly, with the B-52, Boeing did a lot of studies that were used for RFP's, one was the re-engine.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:57 pm

They will not use a P-8 frame which is based on a -800. The E-7 is based on a -700. Where the P-8A bombay is now, the E-7 has electronic hardware relating to the Radar.

The engineering required to put the E-7 radar on a P-8 frame would not allow you to build the first one by the time they are needed. Predicted 2025 when China will have the capability ro invade Taiwan.

The time line is also another reason to avoid a competitive bid. They already know how much it should cost thru the UK contract.

I see this study is strictly how to incorporate some unique US electronic systems - is there enough room in the equipment racks, where to place any additional antennas (crown space is a premium on the E-7), will there be enough power and cooling . . .

bt
 
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N328KF
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:36 pm

bikerthai wrote:
They will not use a P-8 frame which is based on a -800. The E-7 is based on a -700. Where the P-8A bombay is now, the E-7 has electronic hardware relating to the Radar.


The problem is that the -700 as such is not produced anymore. There are multiple directions here (including basically producing the NG -700 again) but it's not something they can just pull off the line now.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Sat Oct 23, 2021 12:21 am

N328KF wrote:
There are multiple directions here (including basically producing the NG -700 again) but it's not something they can just pull off the line now.


They were going to do it for 3 of the 5 UK E-7A frames. Now they will only build one new -700 frame.

As long as the P-8A production is active Boeing can build the NG frame without much disruption.

That is one of the reason why the AF is fastracking this evaluation. As soon as no more orders for the P-8A is logged, the NG line will shut down, and the only avenue left would be to pull off some low hours commercial frame, which is probably a pipe dream.

bt
 
Buckeyetech
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Sun Nov 14, 2021 4:37 pm

More talk from Boeing that this is essentially a done deal.

https://breakingdefense.sites.breakingm ... ec-claims/ tiallly
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Sun Nov 14, 2021 6:56 pm

More work for OKC!

Also if the USAF finalize on these frames, don't be surprised for the ROK, UK and RAAF to tack on some more to get a group discount.

bt
 
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WoodysAeroimag
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Mon Nov 15, 2021 1:29 am

Just arrived in Seattle

Image
Image
 
chiki
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:15 am

WoodysAeroimag wrote:
Just arrived in Seattle

Image
Image
Nice, is it for the UK Wedgetail?

Sent from my SM-J415F using Tapatalk
 
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WoodysAeroimag
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:18 pm

chiki wrote:
WoodysAeroimag wrote:
Just arrived in Seattle

Image
Image
Nice, is it for the UK Wedgetail?

Sent from my SM-J415F using Tapatalk


Yes

9103 BOE149 66840 N576JK 737-700 RAF E-7A Wedgetail AEW Mk1
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Wed Feb 09, 2022 2:04 pm

The ball is now rolling.

The service is now seeking information from industry about whether companies can deliver “at least two production representative prototype aircraft, including ground support and training systems, within five years starting in FY23,” when a contract is expected to be awarded, an Air Force solicitation states.


https://www.google.com/amp/s/breakingde ... awacs/amp/

bt
 
eskimotail
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Wed Feb 09, 2022 8:58 pm

As a veteran of the Aus, and Turkey mods and delivery, curious as to where the RAF E-7 mods will be accomplished?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Wed Feb 09, 2022 9:08 pm

The RAF frames are currently being mod in Birmingham, UK

https://www.boeing.co.uk/products-servi ... ntrol.page.

There is some intrigue with the USAF RFI. It asks for 2 test frames. Just so happened, the UK dropped 2 frames from their original 5.

If the sub-tier contract is still valid for the last two UK frames, then Boeing could exercises that contract to build the two US test frames. And then if the US decide to buy more, the UK can ride along and get a bulk buy discount to round out their original intention of 5 frames.

bt
bt
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Feb 10, 2022 3:53 pm

bikerthai wrote:
The RAF frames are currently being mod in Birmingham, UK

https://www.boeing.co.uk/products-servi ... ntrol.page.

There is some intrigue with the USAF RFI. It asks for 2 test frames. Just so happened, the UK dropped 2 frames from their original 5.

If the sub-tier contract is still valid for the last two UK frames, then Boeing could exercises that contract to build the two US test frames. And then if the US decide to buy more, the UK can ride along and get a bulk buy discount to round out their original intention of 5 frames.

bt
bt


That's worthwhile if that's it. I wonder if the capabilities of the COMPASS CALL II could be integrated into the E-7 and save an airframe, and what the limitations would be?
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Feb 10, 2022 4:37 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
That's worthwhile if that's it. I wonder if the capabilities of the COMPASS CALL II could be integrated into the E-7 and save an airframe, and what the limitations would be?


Probably crew duty day, from all the pilots scrambling to finish their SWA apps before stepping.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Feb 10, 2022 5:21 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
That's worthwhile if that's it. I wonder if the capabilities of the COMPASS CALL II could be integrated into the E-7 and save an airframe, and what the limitations would be?


Probably crew duty day, from all the pilots scrambling to finish their SWA apps before stepping.


Who wants to work at Southwest anymore?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Feb 10, 2022 5:34 pm

Better fishing opportunities with AS?

bt
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Feb 10, 2022 6:26 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
That's worthwhile if that's it. I wonder if the capabilities of the COMPASS CALL II could be integrated into the E-7 and save an airframe, and what the limitations would be?


Probably crew duty day, from all the pilots scrambling to finish their SWA apps before stepping.


Who wants to work at Southwest anymore?


Walk into any active duty squadron bar - pick a service - and ask the same question. You might be surprised by the answer...
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Feb 10, 2022 6:35 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:

Probably crew duty day, from all the pilots scrambling to finish their SWA apps before stepping.


Who wants to work at Southwest anymore?


Walk into any active duty squadron bar - pick a service - and ask the same question. You might be surprised by the answer...


If they want to spend 6 legs a day in that torture chamber and be deaf and crippled by 55, well, better those chumps than me.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Feb 10, 2022 6:52 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
If they want to spend 6 legs a day in that torture chamber and be deaf and crippled by 55, well, better those chumps than me.


Are you talking about SWA/737 or military aviation, there? Without an average salary number, quality of life indicator, or hot-mic rants I can't tell the difference.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Feb 10, 2022 6:55 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
If they want to spend 6 legs a day in that torture chamber and be deaf and crippled by 55, well, better those chumps than me.


Are you talking about SWA/737 or military aviation, there? Without an average salary number, quality of life indicator, or hot-mic rants I can't tell the difference.


Ohhh...well played.

But those sweet VA bennies and Home Depot 10%, yo!
 
aschachter
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Feb 10, 2022 8:24 pm

I am guessing this didn't need a separate discussion, but the RFI has been released

https://sam.gov/opp/b47eca2a3f05491e860 ... 90ccc/view
 
FlyingSicilian
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Sun Feb 13, 2022 10:08 pm

USAF is putting more exchange slots with the Aussies to starting prepping cadre for the change over. That was actually built into the deal that sent the RAAF to Tinker in the mid 2000s for their initial Cadre spin up for Wedgetail. Rare forward thinking by USAF and AFPC.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Mon Feb 14, 2022 4:51 pm

Now, if the US is buying enough frames, maybe they can look at putting the P-8 wings on the AEW&C frame. With the hard points availability, you can add drone/decoy capability to improve your survivability.

bt
 
eskimotail
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Tue Feb 15, 2022 6:57 pm

Great idea, but to execute,
Would this trigger a whole new flight test, static test program, under the supervision of the recently spanked, newly cautious FAA?
It is just not the center body wing structure that is impacted.
P8 has a significant different Texas Star. That is the major structure that attaches the two H Stabs to each other and has the jackscrew attach points.
P8 has much thicker skins and much fatter, stronger shear ties in back end.
P8 wing loses some fuel capacity for the wing hard point hardware.
Which landing gear would be appropriate for the new heavier AEWC.
Bigger moment arms from the longer fuselage, but the point is that a major structural mod like this will trigger cost, time and weight.
Cheers
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Tue Feb 15, 2022 7:07 pm

The point about the flight test is valid.

However, I am only referring to swapping out the wings and keep the original -700 fuselage. The P-8A fuselage with the bomb bay is a no go for the E-7.

Not sure if the landing gear would be a big deal. The loss of fuel capacity would be something to think about.

If survivability is a major concern, and if the wing mount could address that, then cost should not be a factor. Schedule would however. Not sure if a longer design schedule would be appealing.

Maybe they can attach something in the centerline similar to the radar pod on the P-8. That should not affect the FAA cert as that would be certified by the AF. You would not be able to carry much though.

bt
 
SXDFC
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Wed Feb 16, 2022 3:14 am

Why do they build the frame with the full window set, and not just the windows they need for the E7?
 
Newark727
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Wed Feb 16, 2022 4:46 am

SXDFC wrote:
Why do they build the frame with the full window set, and not just the windows they need for the E7?


Maybe that's just the only kind of fuselage they build for the -700?
 
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SeamanBeaumont
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Wed Feb 16, 2022 4:48 am

SXDFC wrote:
Why do they build the frame with the full window set, and not just the windows they need for the E7?

Probably slow the prod line down too much. Likely easier/cheaper for Boeing to just replace them with the rest of the mods happening to the aircraft.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Wed Feb 16, 2022 12:31 pm

SXDFC wrote:
Why do they build the frame with the full window set, and not just the windows they need for the E7?


The curent E-7A configuration is build using a "Mod" process as opposed to the "in -line" process like the P-8A.

The process takes the completed civilian 737-700 frame and remove the crown upper section of the aft area and replace it with a reinforced section capable of supporting the radar.

Only this section have the windows removed. The other sections have the windows replaced with metal plugs.

With the P-8A, because they have a much larger production run, the Navy was willing to pay upfront money to have a unique frame designed and built on the commercial line. This saves then lots of money on the back end of the build.

Not sure if the AF will do this with the E-7 if the production run only covers 23 frames. With digital design and manufacturing, Boeing may reduce the upfront money enough to make it worth while.

It would be something to look for

bt
 
billyp4850
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Sun Feb 20, 2022 12:09 am

My first post after being a long time lurker!

It's worth noting to those speculating about transitioning to the P-8 base aircraft that the E-7 already has some 'upgrades' compared to the standard civilian -700. The Wedgetail is built off the BBJ/-700ER frame, which combines the -700 fuselage length with the -800 wing and landing gear giving an increased MTOW of 77,600kg (171,000lb). The Wedgetail also has an AAR receptacle (this design was reused in the P-8), and a RAAF E-7 currently holds the record for the longest 737 flight and the longest post WWII RAAF flight, at 17.3 hours during Op Okra. There was a huge mount of work making all the sensors function without causing interference with each other. This would have to be repeated if they were to be relocated onto the longer fuselage.

One limitation of the E-7 in its current form is the number of operator stations, currently the RAAF examples are fitted with 10 stations. The E-3 has 14 I believe, the USAF may want more that the E-7 allows for.

This video from the RAAF of the conversion process highlights how much work is involved:
https://youtu.be/XwHHEOCETNw
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Mon Feb 21, 2022 8:54 pm

So if the US ends up buying these I can imagine the Aussies will be happy. IIRC they get a royalty for each one purchased as part of the agreement for funding its development. lol
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Tue Feb 22, 2022 3:24 pm

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
So if the US ends up buying these I can imagine the Aussies will be happy. IIRC they get a royalty for each one purchased as part of the agreement for funding its development. lol


That's the way international cooperative defense procurement should work.
 
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WoodysAeroimag
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Mar 03, 2022 5:28 am

@RoyalAirForce @BoeingDefense E-7A Wedgetail AEW Mk1 (737-700) - C/N 66840 / LN 9103 rolled out of final assembly.

Image
 
jeffrey0032j
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Mon Apr 25, 2022 4:16 am

billyp4850 wrote:

One limitation of the E-7 in its current form is the number of operator stations, currently the RAAF examples are fitted with 10 stations. The E-3 has 14 I believe, the USAF may want more that the E-7 allows for.

Would a 737-800 with more operator stations work for this mission?
 
INFINITI329
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Mon Apr 25, 2022 5:16 am

Does the E-7 cover all the capabilities of the E-3 ?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Mon Apr 25, 2022 12:14 pm

jeffrey0032j wrote:
billyp4850 wrote:

One limitation of the E-7 in its current form is the number of operator stations, currently the RAAF examples are fitted with 10 stations. The E-3 has 14 I believe, the USAF may want more that the E-7 allows for.

Would a 737-800 with more operator stations work for this mission?


Yes, but then you will need a whole new certification program. The Air Force wants these frames ASAP.

The Air Force have said they wanted distributed system with smaller platform and more nodes. Even the 737 would have been larger than they want, but it is a compromise as it is the best system available that can be acquired quickly.

From an acquisition stand point, when the UK dropped 2 frames from their order, it opened the opportunity for the USAF to slide in and secure two frames quickly (in the configuration of the UK).

by
 
chiki
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Tue Apr 26, 2022 9:19 pm

Seems it's a done deal according to Gates

https://twitter.com/dominicgates/status ... m_GjA&s=19

Sent from my SM-J415F using Tapatalk
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Tue Apr 26, 2022 9:29 pm

Looks like two frames to test out what kind of hardware they want and give time to work out the configuration for full rate production.

Glad to see the platform having a new lease on life.

bt
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Apr 28, 2022 8:14 am

bikerthai wrote:
jeffrey0032j wrote:
billyp4850 wrote:

One limitation of the E-7 in its current form is the number of operator stations, currently the RAAF examples are fitted with 10 stations. The E-3 has 14 I believe, the USAF may want more that the E-7 allows for.

Would a 737-800 with more operator stations work for this mission?


Yes, but then you will need a whole new certification program. The Air Force wants these frames ASAP.


The proposed schedule is *NOT* fast. Prototypes coming in 2027 and 2028. Production aircraft and IOC after that. For a plane that already exists.

"The Air Force's current plan is to order the first 'rapid prototype aircraft' in the 2023 Fiscal Year and then take delivery of it in the 2027 Fiscal Year. The service expects to place an order for a second prototype in Fiscal Year 2024 and then hopes to make a formal decision regarding acquiring production aircraft in the following fiscal cycle."

I assume part of the reason is this
"It's not yet clear how much the Air Force's E-7 variant will differ from Wedgetails already in service in Australia, South Korea, and Turkey, as well as those being now built for the United Kingdom. The RFI that the Air Force put out in February indicated that there could be service-specific requirements for the aircraft's radar, communication and battle management systems, electronic support measures suite, networking architecture, and defense systems, among other things"

The USAF Motto: We *never* buy off the rack.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/a ... aging-e-3s"
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:23 am

kitplane01 wrote:
The proposed schedule is *NOT* fast. Prototypes coming in 2027 and 2028. Production aircraft and IOC after that. For a plane that already exists.


Not saying if this is the case here, but there are explanation for the what seems to be such a "long" schedule to delivery of an "off the shelf" system.

The P-8A example.

The delivery schedule first two aircraft is when the the frames are officially transfered to the Air Force. This may not be the same as the Air Force getting their hands on the aircraft and start tinkering with it.

With the P-8A, the first two flying frames were not "delivered" to the Navy until long after some production frames were handed over.

During this time they were making all sorts of changes to the planes as they test out new increments of upgrades which ultimately got incorporated in to production frames. Having changes made while the frames still under Boeing control allows the changes to be incorporated under a modification configuration as opposed to a retrofit configuration. I suspect the way the contract works, modification to an undelivered frame is much simpler than retrofit.

Modification contracts may also have different buckets of money to work from, as opposed to retrofits. But that aspect I am not familiar with.

As for the first two E-7A frames, I understand that it will be the UK configuration. That make sense as all the long lead planning would have already been done for the original UK proposal before they dropped 2 frames.

The Air Force would then upgrade the mission equipment to open architecture, similar to what the latest P-8A configuration is flying except with Air Force specific requirements. The "tinkering" will probably be done with a set up they already have in mind.

All this is speculation of course.

bt
 
Buckeyetech
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Sat Jul 23, 2022 7:14 pm

Boeing and USAF in talks to accelerate deliveries. I’m sure this has everything to do with Boeing’s bottom line.

https://www.airforcemag.com/boeing-read ... tail-2027/
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Sat Jul 23, 2022 7:49 pm

Buckeyetech wrote:
Boeing and USAF in talks to accelerate deliveries. I’m sure this has everything to do with Boeing’s bottom line.

https://www.airforcemag.com/boeing-read ... tail-2027/


Maybe indirectly. To get a reasonable price on the 737 NG frames, the production rate should be 1 per month (including both P-8A and E-7A) accelerating the buy allows them to keep the 1 per month rate. If Canada buys some P-8A then they can stretch out the buy. However, if Canada delay their buy, the E-7 accelerated buy would keep the rate up until Canada is ready to buy.

In truth, Boeing would probibly make more money by shutting down the NG line and go all Max. But that would not make their military customers happy.

bt
 
johns624
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Sat Jul 23, 2022 11:39 pm

bikerthai wrote:
[ However, if Canada delay their buy, the E-7 accelerated buy would keep the rate up until Canada is ready to buy.
bt
They might have to keep it open for decades... :stirthepot:
 
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Mortyman
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Sun Jul 24, 2022 9:32 pm

I wish Norway would buy some ....
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: Future E-7A buy

Mon Jul 25, 2022 6:58 am

Mortyman wrote:
I wish Norway would buy some ....


Why does Norway need them? I think we would be better off with some more P8’s.

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Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos