Riat19 Nato E3 Awacs Lx N90451 Xxx 7 1

Boeing E-3A Sentry

Based on the Boeing 707-320B airliner, the E-6B Sentry, more commonly knowns by the acronym of its role – AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) was developed during the early 1970s for the US Air Force as a replacement for the EC-121 Warning Star. A total of 68 Sentry’s were built between 1977 and 1992 and were delivered to the USAF, French Air Force, NATO, Saudi Arabia and the RAF. The RAF’s aircraft were the last to be produced however were the first to be retired in 2021, three of which have been acquired by Chile. The Sentry has a large rotating radome attached above the fuselage and the radar within can provide simultaneously monitor all altitudes from sea level to the stratosphere.

NATO operate a fleet of 14 E-3A models which have been constantly upgraded throughout their service life. Based at Geilenkirchen in Germany, the aircraft are regularly deployed to forward operating bases in Turkey, Green, Italy and Norway. The NATO Sentry’s are operated by a team of 20 crews which are sourced from 15 member nations. In addition to the US and UK, NATO has selected the Boeing 737 based E-7 Wedgetail to replace their fleet from 2031 onwards.

NATO will be providing one of their E-3A Sentry’s for this year’s Air Tattoo. The Sentry will perform a flypast on arrival on Friday before landing and being on static display over the weekend.

Photo Credit: RIAT Volunteer

On display

Role Friday Saturday Sunday
Static No Yes Yes