Peace Eagle Boeing 737 AEW&C
The Boeing Company is supplying the Turkish Air Force with an Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system, known as Peace Eagle, based on the Boeing 737 AEW&C product line. The Peace Eagle program includes four 737 AEW&C aircraft plus ground support segments for mission crew training, mission support and system maintenance.
Under a July 23, 2003, contract priced at more than $1.6 billion, Boeing was to develop and deliver four AEW&C aircraft to the Turkish Air Force in 2008. Ankara said in 2013 that it would impose penalties on Boeing for "major delays” in the program. Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said in April 2013 that delays were due to the company’s failure to develop the system as well as other uncontrolled events within the program.
Based on Boeing’s 737-700 commercial airplane, the 737 AEW&C aircraft’s advanced radar and 10 state-of-the-art mission crew consoles can track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously. The battle management capabilities allow mission crew to direct offensive and defensive forces while maintaining continuous surveillance of the operational area.
The Boeing 737 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft are outfitted with multi-role active electronically scanned array (multi-role AESA or MESA) radars. These radars are capable of focusing power on almost any selected point in space while continuing to search and track other targets of interest. Their operation at heights well above ground level increases the possibility of illuminating low observable assets from viewpoints other than frontal aspects.
Operation at heights well above ground level increases the possibility of illuminating low observable assets from viewpoints other than frontal aspects. These other areas are typically not as heavily invested in RCS reduction design and the continuously changing aspect with respect to the detection area gives advantages to these systems for counter stealth. Another advantage of high altitude detection systems is their immunity against terrestrial obstacles. The Turkish landscape is mountainous and the islands in the Aegean Sea limit the line-of sight which is required for millimeter radars, such as X-band detectors. Thus, there are many blind areas for conventional surveillance systems. This gap will also be reduced when AEW&C systems are deployed.
Modification of the first aircraft was conducted at The Boeing Company facilities in Seattle. TUSAS Aerospace Industries (TAI) in Ankara, Turkey, will modify the remaining three aircraft. Boeing Australia Limited provided product support deliverables during the acquisition and initial support phases of the Peace Eagle program, including the initial training of the Turkish Air Force; and the training of personnel from Turkish Industry to assume responsibility for in-service product support activities.
Boeing Australia Limited, as a subcontractor to The Boeing Company, also designed and provided construction oversight for the ground support centre facility in Ankara Turkey, where the Peace Eagle’s ground support segments will be installed. Boeing Australia Limited’s role in the Peace Eagle Project concluded in 2012.
Turkey participated to the Project “Peace Eagle” with her defense company, HAVELSAN. HAVELSAN developed unique software modules for the mission processor, tactical display, communication and man-machine interfaces. HAVELSAN also is testing this software and working for integration of this software to the 737 AEW&C aircraft. HAVELSAN participated in all the engineering processes throughout the program, starting from the system analysis untill the end of system test and evaluation. In the scope of the program, HAVELSAN develops, modifies and integrates 12 software modules.
On 10 February 2014 Boeing helped Turkey improve its self-defense capabilities with the delivery of the first Peace Eagle Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft. Boeing delivered the aircraft to Konya Air Base, the fleet's main operating base. The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) now had advanced airborne surveillance and battle management capabilities, and can simultaneously track airborne and maritime targets, with the first of four AEW&C aircraft it has received from Boeing.
"The Peace Eagle program is an example of great cooperation among the Turkish government and our excellent Turkish industry teammates, including Turkish Aerospace Industries, HAVELSAN, Turkish Airlines and MiKES," said Mark Ellis, Peace Eagle program manager for Boeing. "What's more, the aircraft can be used immediately because initial training for mission system operators, maintenance crews and pilots has been completed."
On 09 December 2015 Boeing delivered the fourth and final Peace Eagle Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft to the Turkish Air Force at Konya Air Base, completing the Turkish AEW&C fleet and enhancing Turkey’s airspace surveillance and battle management capabilities. This final aircraft includes upgraded software for the platform and the final element of the ground support segment, the Software Support Center (SSC). Previously delivered Peace Eagles will receive the upgraded software soon. Boeing worked with Turkish industry partners Turkish Aerospace Industries, Turkish Airlines, HAVELSAN and ASELSAN to complete the delivery of the final aircraft as well as establish technology capabilities like the Software Support Center, updated mission simulator software and mission support center software.
By early 2016 procurement authorities were considering a follow-on order option in their airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) acquisition contract. If the government decided to go ahead with the option, it will order two more AEW&C aircraft from Boeing under the country’s Peace Eagle program.
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