Boeing said it is targeting an annual production output of six E-7 Wedgetails to meet increasing demand from international customers.
According to Stu Voboril, program manager for the E-7 at Boeing, the company expects to achieve the production goal in the latter part of the decade.
He added that the increased aircraft production will address global customers’ decision to start retiring their aging E-3A airborne warning and control fleets.
“As the AWACS retirements are occurring globally, there’s a gap. So we’re trying to fit this within the gap of where the retirement of the AWACS fleet is right now,” Voboril told Breaking Defense.
The aerospace giant is preparing to fulfill Wedgetail orders from the United States, the United Kingdom, NATO and Asia. The organization is already in advanced discussions with South Korea to expand the country’s existing fleet.
Voboril noted that Boeing is prioritizing the delivery of three E-7s to the British Royal Air Force. The units are being assembled in the U.K.
Another customer that warrants Boeing’s attention is the U.S. Air Force, which seeks to acquire 26 Wedgetails to replace its fleet of 31 E-3 Sentry aircraft. Under its agreement with the service, Boeing will provide two prototypes in 2027 and complete the delivery requirements by 2032.
By the early 2030s, the company will support NATO’s efforts to replace its E-3 early warning platform. The two parties signed an agreement in November that calls for Boeing to supply the security alliance with at least six E-7s.
NATO expects to receive delivery of the first aircraft by 2031 in preparation for E-3’s deactivation in 2035.