London is close to making a decision to select Boeing 737 AEW&C aircraft to replace the RAF’s E-3D
But the decision, which could be announced in coming weeks, is likely to anger some U.K. lawmakers who have called for a full competition, and may also spark formal protests by European defence companies keen for the business.
Airbus, which is said to be teaming up with Sweden’s Saab to offer an alternative, is anxious to try to prevent the deal being awarded without a competition and does not rule out mounting a legal challenge, a person close to the matter said.
“We tender contracts competitively wherever appropriate. It is too early to comment further at this time,” the British Ministry of Defense said when ask to comment on the decision.
Boeing 737 AEW&C is based on a Boeing 737-700, with the addition of an advanced Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar, and 10 state-of-the-art mission crew consoles which can track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously.
It is a highly advanced aircraft, providing an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platform that can gather information from a wide variety of sources, analyse it, and distribute it to other assets.
The Boeing 737 AEW&C can:
– control the tactical battle space;
– provide direction for assets in the air, at sea and on land;
– support aircraft such as tankers and intelligence platforms.
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