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  • Future of AWACS?

    Are there any plans for major upgrades/produce a successor for the AWACS? I get the impression, from other message boards, that the company that produces the airplane is pretty reluctant to take care of it through maintenance/old equipmet. Does the USAF still intend to use the AWACS for the foreseeable future, or is Boeing going to bring in its own version, the one with the radar pod (I think that's what it is) under the fuselage?

    Unfortunately, I don't remember the specific name or designation of the Boeing plane, so whatever information I have about it, is limited.

  • #2
    You mean the E-3 Sentry? Based on the 707, four-engined, with a big dish on top? There have been somewhat-recently upgraded to E-3C standard. The aircraft with the canoe radar underneath is an E-8 Joint Stars, which monitors radar contacts on the ground and is essentially an AWACS for ground operations. Options include the Boeing E-767 currently operated by Japan, and a Boeing 737 varient with a long, flat, wedgetail phased-array radar mounted above the spine. I have even seen proposed conceptual designs for carrier-borne AWACS aircraft with a hollow diamond-shaped wing, with the phased-array radar embedded along the wings' leading and trailing edges. High-flying UAVS with embedded radar systems could also function quite adequately as AWACS platforms. In fact, F/A-22 Raptors with their advanced radar and networking suite can operate as a nearly-undetectable mini-AWACS net. The issue of procuring new AWACS designs, of course, is money. My guess is, we will continue to soldier-on with varients of the E-3 for the next 30 years or more, until they start falling out of the sky.
    The black flag is raised: Ban them all... Let the Admin sort them out.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Horrido
      You mean the E-3 Sentry?
      I think he means Boeing's new plane....which I know nothing about either
      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TopHatter
        I think he means Boeing's new plane....which I know nothing about either
        As a matter of fact, I was talking about the E-3 Sentry. I, being the uneducated civilian that I am, though "AWACS" was the actual name of the plane, not the specific role it plays.

        Sorry for the confusion. :)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by drkfce
          As a matter of fact, I was talking about the E-3 Sentry. I, being the uneducated civilian that I am, though "AWACS" was the actual name of the plane, not the specific role it plays.

          Sorry for the confusion. :)
          No problem, that's why we ask qustions: to learn.

          AWACS stands for "Airborne Warning And Control System." You will also see it listed as AEW for "Airborne Early Warning."
          The black flag is raised: Ban them all... Let the Admin sort them out.

          I know I'm going to have the last word... I have powers of deletion and lock.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by drkfce
            As a matter of fact, I was talking about the E-3 Sentry. I, being the uneducated civilian that I am, though "AWACS" was the actual name of the plane, not the specific role it plays.

            Sorry for the confusion. :)
            *sigh* Looks like I get to pay for foot-in-mouth-removal surgery again...
            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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            • #7
              There were plans to eventually replace the E-3 with a new aircraft called the E-10 Mulit-sensor Command and Control Aircraft (MC2A) that would use an advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) antenna.

              The E-10 was supposed to replaces or supplant the E-3, E-8 JSTARS, and RC-135, though I think bugetary pressure has narrowed the focus to a JSTARS replacement for the moment.

              There are/were also plans to augment the E-3 with a long-endurance UAV counterpart.

              The difference between AWACS and AEW is that an AWACS carries additional crew who perform Command and Control duties (think mil version of an airport control tower), and an AEW feeds its sensor picture back to a surface station.

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              • #8
                Here's info on the E-10 proposal:

                http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/systems/e-10.htm


                I'll post pics of the others I've mentioned as I find them.


                Here we go:

                http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/planes/q0091.shtml
                Last edited by Horrido; 16 Nov 05,, 05:15.
                The black flag is raised: Ban them all... Let the Admin sort them out.

                I know I'm going to have the last word... I have powers of deletion and lock.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Horrido
                  Here's info on the E-10 proposal:

                  http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/systems/e-10.htm


                  I'll post pics of the others I've mentioned as I find them.


                  Here we go:

                  http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/planes/q0091.shtml
                  Awww...sweet! Much appreciated! :D

                  *edit*

                  Kind of off topic, but this caught my eye in your second article...

                  They also recommended retiring the S-3 in 2008 and transferring its anti-submarine and surface attack duties to helicopters and the F-18 Hornet. The airborne refueling mission will most likely be transferred to the F-18E/F Super Hornet since the Navy has advocated fitting at least some of these multi-role fighters with the ability to carry buddy-stores.
                  Geez, they are planning to put out Super Hornets out on refueling missions? It can carry enough to be able to supply other aircraft and the inevitable tool required to transfer the fuel? And they plan on making enough of these to support their fleets? Interesting...
                  Last edited by drkfce; 16 Nov 05,, 05:40.

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                  • #10
                    Here're are more on this forum. The blue NASA boxwing is the one I think of:

                    http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=46072

                    E-767:

                    http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/e-767.htm

                    E-737:

                    http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/e-737.htm
                    The black flag is raised: Ban them all... Let the Admin sort them out.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by drkfce
                      Geez, they are planning to put out Super Hornets out on refueling missions? It can carry enough to be able to supply other aircraft and the inevitable tool required to transfer the fuel? And they plan on making enough of these to support their fleets? Interesting...

                      They Navy, through a cascade failure of intelligence and common sense that extends from the White House, through the Pentagon, to the Navy itself, has succeeded in squandering valuable resources and placed faith in idiotic designs and philosophies extending back to 1988. As a result, the Stuper Hornet (originally a failed USAF light fighter design) has become the premiere "Jack-of-all-trades" aircraft for the Navy. As to having the power to carry all of the necessary fuel and equipment, the honest answer is "No." But that's not going to stop them from trying to do it, anyway.

                      I cry when I think of what our Navy has become: a secondary and substandard dependent of the Air Force.
                      The black flag is raised: Ban them all... Let the Admin sort them out.

                      I know I'm going to have the last word... I have powers of deletion and lock.

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                      • #12
                        The E-10 is still on the board, but the whole KC-767 fiasco gave everything to do with the 767 a black eye. Its not a for-sure thing by any means, but maybe we'll have a prototype in about 8 years.

                        From what I understand, it would come online as a JSTARS replacement, then receive AWACS capability as a block upgrade shortly thereafter.

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                        • #13
                          " I, being the uneducated civilian that I am, though "AWACS" was the actual name of the plane, not the specific role it plays."

                          Actually, AWACS is the official acronym of the E-3 Sentry, ad conveniently, it's also it's mission description.
                          Last edited by Bill; 16 Nov 05,, 22:35.

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                          • #14
                            "I cry when I think of what our Navy has become: a secondary and substandard dependent of the Air Force."

                            LOL, OUCH!

                            The worst part is, it's true...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by M21Sniper
                              Actually, AWACS is the official acronym of the E-3 Sentry, ad conveniently, it's also it's mission description.
                              Snipe, what sort of planes are given official acronyms? Just the special capability aircraft, like J-STARS etc?
                              Also, slight change in aircraft and service: correct me if I'm wrong: The Navy's E-2 Hawkeye is designated as AEW and never AWACS, yes?
                              Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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