USAF Selects Boeing’s E-7A Wedgetail
Good choice. At least partialy parts compatible to the P-8. Being an AESA radar, it might do J-STARS stuff too. Also economy of scale, UK and Oz already have bought them. Maybe some other places too?
Give it time, somehow the US Govt. procurement department for that project will find a way with change orders for it to cost two to three times more than any of the other buyers.
Can’t go into detail but the Wedgetail has a very impressive EW suite and by all accounts is a decent bit of kit.
Meanwhile here is a photo of the type of wedgetail that we regularly see at our place (there is a breeding pair who’s ‘territory’ includes our property):
And a photo of one with a human to give you an idea of scale.
That’s one impressive bird indeed.
An ASEA radar lile the wedgetail and F-35 have cam be anything. All at once. Jammer, radar, doing l33t hacks on enemy comms, etc.
Indeed they are. Also the cap badge, symbol and mascot of the 2nd Cavalry Regt, RAAC
2 Cav guys would get really upset when you referred to their cap badge as a ‘chook on a stick’
Yeah, it goes something like this.
“This is going to cost too much.”
“Let’s use most or all of an existing design, and just make the changes we need.”
list of changes results in end cost being 3x that of clean sheet design but without the added extra performance that would have given
NASA down the hall with their $20B over budget SLS design reusing shuttle engines, tanks, and boosters: “Way to go my dudes!!”
At least our airforce has seen sense (Army and Navy are still playing catch-up) and not messing with an existing and proven design in an effort to ‘Australianise’ it.
e.g. When the RAAF decided they needed C-17, the only changes to what was rolling off the production line for the USAF were sheepskin seat covers for the pilots, RAAF roundels and a red kangaroo painted on the tail.
Knowing how some of your fellow countrymen feel about them, at first I read that as “red kangaroo pinned on the tail”…imagining them flailing about as the ground crew jeered at them.