Military Aviation

Royal Air Force E-3D Sentry AEW&C aircraft grounded by issues with electrical wiring and cabin conditioning system

Royal Air Force E-3D Sentry AEW&C aircraft grounded

The Royal Air Force (RAF) has been forced to ground its E-3D Sentry airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft after issues were discovered with the aircraft’s electrical wiring and cabin conditioning system.

As reported by on Nov.4, 2016, a Royal Air Force spokesman said the problem was discovered during routine technical inspection of the aircraft and that the Sentry fleet will only fly again once the ongoing rectification work is complete.

The repairs on the electrical wiring and cabin conditioning system will be carried out at RAF Coningsby and it might take several weeks before the E-3D fleet is ready to resume flying.

The six E-3Ds currently in service with the Royal Air Force were originally due to be retired in 2025, but 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) established that the aircraft will remain operational until at least 2035.

Noteworthy since the RAF has one Sentry‎ usually based in Cyprus committed to Operation Shader (as the British participation in the ongoing military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] is code-named) the grounding of the entire E-3D fleet could affect air operations conducted in the Middle East.

In fact because of this issue the military operations of the U.S. led coalition against ISIL will face a shortage of AEW&C platforms, which play a crucial role in deconflicting planes operating in the same airspace, especially after the Russian Air and Space Force (RuASF) has increased its air activity in the skies over Syria.

Photo credit: Crown Copyright

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

Top Aces completes first ‘Adversary Air’ training mission with upgraded A-4 Advanced Aggressor Fighter in Canada

Top Aces A-4 Advanced Aggressor Fighter Top Aces, the world's leading provider of advanced adversary… Read More

4 hours ago

The Hunt For The Storozhevoy: when Soviets nearly nuked one of their own warships after it was involved in a mutiny

The mutiny of the Storozhevoy On Nov. 8, 1975, Lieutenant Commander Valeriy Sablin led his… Read More

1 day ago

The story of the USAF General who killed the SR-71 program because he was turned down to fly the Blackbird

The Blackbird The SR-71, unofficially known as the “Blackbird,” is a long-range, advanced, strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed… Read More

2 days ago