The Boeing 737 Airborne early warning and control is based on the 737-700 variant and a total of 14 aircraft have been produced.
Currently, the E-3A Sentry early warning aircraft is a standard not only for NATO but also for many countries allied with the United States, to meet intelligence sharing requirements when multinational combat cooperation. In the near future E-3A Sentry will gradually be completely replaced by newer early warning aircraft also developed by Boeing, the 737 Airborne early warning and control is a bright candidate.
The Royal Australian Air Force owns 6 aircraft, with the name E-7A Wedgetail. The Turkish Air Force owns four with the name Peace Eagle, and the Korean Air Force owns four with the name Peace Eye.
The Boeing 737 AEW&C radar system is much improved compared to the E-3 Sentry, allowed it to detect fighter-sized targets at a maximum distance of 370 km, and detect frigate-sized naval targets at 240 km.
In addition to detecting targets from great distances, the Boeing 737 AEW&C also has the ability to track 180 targets at the same time and conducting 24 intercepts. The Boeing 737 AEW&C is equipped with MESA Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array radar, so it can observing space and ground at 360-degree angles.
Boeing 737 AEW&C is an aircraft with two engines, speed up to 860 km/h and a range of up to 6,500 km, a service ceiling of 12,500 m high. The radar is located on the upper fin of the fuselage, long, like a “hat”.
In the fuselage, there are 8 operating tables, connecting to external aircraft and ground headquarters as well as the national air defense network. 737 AEW & C’s crew is between 6 and 10 people.
The 737 airborne early warning and control made its first flight in 2004 and was introduced in 2009, characterized by a Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array radar, operating on L-band, It is a flat plate instead of a rotating disc like on the E-3 Sentry.
Currently, the Air Force owns the most of 737 airborne early warning and control aircraft in the world is the Royal Australian Air Force, with six in service. In October 2018, the British Government announced that it is in discussion with Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force about the potential for the E-7 Wedgetail radar aircraft to replace its E-3D fleet. On March 22, 2019, it was announced by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson that the UK had signed a $1.98 billion deal to purchase five E-7 Wedgetails.