Within the initial Alliance Future Surveillance and Control AFSC (AFSC) scope, six E-7 AWACS will be introduced into service with planned Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2031. The fleet of ageing E-3 Sentry contains 14 aircraft. The number of six aircraft is instead a minimum for acquisition.
E-7 will serve as an interim solution until the AFSC system replaces the E-3 fleet in 2035. AFSC will include crewed and uncrewed platforms capable of surveillance in multiple domains.
The most significant advantage that E-7 brings is Northrop Grumman’s MESA AESA radar, which can track aircraft, missiles, and ships.
Based on a smaller platform than the Boeing 707, the E-7 has other advantages, such as crew size and operating costs.
Users of E-7 include Turkiye (as E-7T Peace Eagle), Republic of Korea (as Peace Eye), and Australia (as E-7A Wedgetail).