World Biggest Radar Plane: Boeing AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) E-3 Sentry

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  • ℹ️ Description
World Biggest Radar Plane: Boeing AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) E-3 Sentry 4.5

The Boeing E-3 Sentry, commonly known as AWACS, is an American airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft developed by Boeing as the prime contractor. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance, command, control, and communications, and is used by the United States Air Force, NATO, Royal Air Force, French Air Force, and Royal Saudi Air Force. The E-3 is distinguished by the distinctive rotating radar dome above the fuselage. Production ended in 1992 after 68 aircraft had been built.

In the mid-1960s, the US Air Force (USAF) was seeking an aircraft to replace its piston-engined Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star, which had been in service for over a decade. After issuing preliminary development contracts to three companies, the USAF picked Boeing to construct two airframes to test Westinghouse Electric and Hughes's competing radars. Both radars used pulse-Doppler technology, with Westinghouse's design emerging as the contract winner. Testing on the first production E-3 began in October 1975.

The first USAF E-3 was delivered in March 1977, and during the next seven years, a total of 34 aircraft were manufactured. NATO, as a single identity, also had 18 aircraft manufactured, basing them in Germany. The E-3 was also sold to the United Kingdom (seven) and France (four) and Saudi Arabia (five, plus eight E-3-derived tanker aircraft). In 1991, when the last aircraft had been delivered, E-3s participated in Operation Desert Storm, playing a crucial role of directing coalition aircraft against the enemy. Throughout the aircraft's service life, numerous upgrades were performed to enhance its capabilities. In 1996, Westinghouse Electric's Defense & Electronic Systems division, was acquired by Northrop Corporation before its being renamed Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, which currently supports the E-3's radar.

💬 Comments on the video

I flew he EC-121 out of Otis and we tested some  prototype equipment that I think was use on the first AWACS.  I later flew the KC-135 so videos like this are of great interest to me.  Sure wish we had those engines on the 135s that I flew.  Cheers, Hal Schedler, Maj. USAF(R)

Author — Hal Schedler


Sorry, but I'm gonna eat while I work. My judgement goes fuzzy when I'm too hungry.

Author — Shadow Hedgehog


I served in the Soviet air force. look like serve you and I envy for good!

Author — Gin Alien


Plenty of old 707 airframes out at the boneyard in Southern AZ. Overdue for new engines like the KC-135R with GE/Snmeca engines

Author — cisa93


My father served 18 years at Tinker as an engine tech. Many fond memories of being taken to see him at work. Watching these magnificent aircraft take to the skies daily!

Author — Dystopian Lucidity


I worked in AWACS R&D from 1968-71, so neat to see this!

Author — Don Whitehead


according to US defense News, AWACS is Santa Claus in the sky 0:21

Author — neal tran


I wish I would’ve stayed as a Mech for this smh.

Author — Kendrick M


Airbus A330: ''Am I a joke to you?"

Author — NCPOS Tack


3:28 Carl knows hes gonna be on camera so he decides to wear his BCGs....Jesus Carl....

Author — higherkite


It may not be your fathers Air Force but it’s your grandfathers airplanes

Author — Jack Pierce


AH! I got 1410 hours of flying in these aircraft!

Author — James Decker


French E-3 F use new CFM 56 engines and patrol up to 11 h and 8000 km

Author — kiefferfx18


Bruh half of this video is showing a tanker and not an AWACS

Author — Derek


Saw it once from the mountains of Afghanistan
V pretty sight
Don't know difference between AWACS and AECS though

Author — Jamshid khan


These things have been flying for a very long time. Just upgrades seem to have kept it cutting edge yes? What more modern large jet would replace it?

Author — Bryan McHugh


At start it shows a KC-135 not an AWACS aircraft, then the video is inter spaced with the KC-135.

Author — Michael



Author — dion dulmin


One time oil all fines. Eny enjen is stop for running & fly..

Author — Nasir Al-Edrus


How come that plane in the cover picture looks like a c141 or something?

Author — Fp Pro