The E-3 Sentry is an AWACS (airborne warning and control system) platform, used to detect and monitor an enemy’s air activity and to direct fighters in engagement. AWACS operates as a mobile, airborne command, control, communications and intelligence headquarters, capable of high or low level surveillance.
The E-3 aircraft is a version of the Boeing 707-320B Airliner, first flight July 15, 1954.
The prototype of the AWACS series the EC-137D (71-1407) flew on February 5, 1972. The first E-3A Sentry (73-1675) made its maiden flight on October 31, 1975, and the first operational E-3A was delivered to the 552nd AWC wing at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma on March 24, 1977.
The E-3C Sentry carrying a crew of 20 consisting of pilot (aircraft commander), co-pilot, navigator, flight engineer and 16 AWACS mission specialists. The rear-cabin crew is under a mission crew commander, and includes weapon controllers, radar operators and communications specialists.
|Developing Nation:||United States|
|First Flight:||– July 15th 1954 (Boeing 707)- February 5th 1972 (EC-137D)- October 31st 1975 (E-3A Sentry)|
|First Operational:||March 24th 1977|
|Wing Span:||44,42 m|
|Engine (s):||Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-100/100A (4x)|
|Max.Take off weight:||147420 kg|
|Max. Speed:||853 km/h|
|Max. Range:||Radius 6 hour patrol without refueling 1609 km, Endurance without refueling more than 11 hours|
|Rotodome:||– Diameter: 9,14 m- Height: 1,83 m- Weight: 1540 kg|
|Radar:||– Westinghouse AN/APY-1/2 multi-mode surveillance radar, rotating at 6 rpm|
|E-3 Sentry operators:|
|USAFNATOSaudi ArabiaUnited KingdomFrance||– 34 E-3C- 18 E-3C- 13 KE-3A- 7 E-3D- 4 E-3F|
|E-3C Sentry in action|
|AWACS aircraft have been involved in all combat operations since March 1979.|