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BOEING E-3A SENTRY

One of the most imposing aircraft on static display at this summer's Air Tattoo will undoubtedly be the E-3A Sentry. The aircraft, a modified Boeing 707 with a large mushroom-shaped radar dome on its fuselage, provides NATO with crucial battlefield intelligence. The E-3A Sentry is an airborne warning and control system (AWACS), which normally operates at an altitude of 30,000ft. When established at this altitude, a single E-3A can continuously survey the airspace within a radius of more than 400km of the aircraft and, using digital data links, exchange information with ground and sea-based commanders. Geilenkirchen Air Base in Germany is home to NATO's 17 E-3As. Whilst their principal role is air surveillance, they can also help co-ordinate air-to-air refuelling missions, combat search and rescue, and the support and control of friendly aircraft.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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