First E-3 Sentry AWACS Heads For The Boneyard

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MIflyer

1st Lieutenant
6,588
13,081
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
From Avweb. I was a TAFB when the first of those arrived. This clearly is all part of a vast Reality-Based Conspiracy to make me Feel Old! '

"Once one of the most prized and carefully guarded assets in the Air Force fleet, the first of 13 E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) is now in a parking spot in the desert and will soon be followed by 12 more. The 45-year-old aircraft literally flew west from its base at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma to Davis Monthan AFB in Arizona on April 6. When the other 12 join it, the E-3 fleet will have been reduced to 30 and their days are numbered.

The E-3 will be replaced by the Boeing 737-based E-7 Wedgetail, and the first of those aircraft will be delivered in 2027. As always, the retirement is bittersweet. The world-changing role the aircraft played was celebrated as was the move to a modern state-of-the-art platform. Despite "Herculean" efforts by maintainers, the old 707s have slipped to below 65 percent dispatch rate. Only 25 Wedgetails will replace the fleet of more than 40 E-3s with no gaps in coverage, the Air Force says."

Screenshot 2023-04-13 at 13-35-20 First AWACS Retired Wedgetails On The Way - AVweb.png
 
But not the first E-3 to go.

The RAF ran down its Sentry AEW.1 fleet until ceasing operations in Sept 2021. One was sold to the USN as an E-6 trainer in 2020 and 2 to Chile in July 2022. The first of the remaining four was in the process of being scrapped in July 2022, already having lost its rotodome with the rest to follow.
 
But not the first E-3 to go.

The RAF ran down its Sentry AEW.1 fleet until ceasing operations in Sept 2021. One was sold to the USN as an E-6 trainer in 2020 and 2 to Chile in July 2022. The first of the remaining four was in the process of being scrapped in July 2022, already having lost its rotodome with the rest to follow.
Also replaced by the E-7 Wedgetail... those Aussies sure did a good job on that, didn't they? ;)
 

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