NATO has selected Boeing’s E-7A Wedgetail as its new command and control aircraft.
In a press release, the security alliance said a “consortium of allies” approved the acquisition.
The next-generation E-7A aircraft will replace NATO’s aging E-3A Airborne Warning and Control fleet, which has been in use since the ’80s. It is a militarized version of Boeing’s 737 jetliner.
The Wedgetail features a powerful radar to detect incoming adversary aircraft, ships and missiles over great distances. As an advanced early warning aircraft, it will be responsible for guiding NATO fighter jets toward a target.
The U.S. Air Force also recently announced plans to procure the aircraft to replace its E-3 Sentry airborne early warning and control fleet.
Boeing will begin production of six E-7A for NATO in the coming years. The aircraft is expected to be ready for operational duty by 2031.
“This investment in state-of-the-art technology shows the strength of transatlantic defense cooperation as we continue to adapt to a more unstable world,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.