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Farnborough 2022: RAF to put Wedgetail ‘distractions' behind it as focus shifts to entry into service

An artist's impression of the Boeing E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft in RAF service. (Boeing)

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) plans to put “the distractions” of the last few years behind it as it focuses on introducing into service the Boeing E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.

Speaking ahead of the Farnborough Airshow 2022, Air Commodore Alex Higgs, Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) E-7A Programme, said that the unexpected changes made to the procurement plan during recent years had diverted the service's focus, but that work is to shortly begin to plan for the type's entry into service (EIS) and initial operating capability (IOC) in 2024.

“We have had a lot of distractions in this programme, which have diverted us. We now understand which way we need go, but we are not quite there yet in terms of understanding how. Over the next couple of months, we are looking to do a scheduled risk assessment, and that means we are going to look with Boeing every single step of the way to understand how we get to that endpoint [of] IOC,” Air Cdre Higgs said.

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