RAF Wedgetail being fitted with a new 360 degree sensor
The first of three aircraft undergoing conversion received the MESA sensor - housed in a distinctive fin on the spine of the aircraft (Picture: RAF).
RAF

First RAF Wedgetail edges closer to entering service

RAF Wedgetail being fitted with a new 360 degree sensor
The first of three aircraft undergoing conversion received the MESA sensor - housed in a distinctive fin on the spine of the aircraft (Picture: RAF).

The first Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array sensor has been installed on an RAF Wedgetail in Birmingham.

The first of three aircraft undergoing conversion received the MESA sensor - housed in a distinctive fin on the spine of the aircraft.

The sensor will provide 360-degree coverage and can accurately detect and identify targets at longer ranges.

It also allows the aircraft's crew to track airborne and maritime targets whilst continuing to maintain surveillance of an operational area.

Air Commodore Hicks, Assistant Chief of Staff Capability Delivery for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft, said the sensor was "a tangible demonstration of the progress being made toward the phenomenal capability of Wedgetail entering RAF frontline service". 

Watch: Wedgetail surveillance aircraft a 'step change' for the RAF.

"This highly complex technology is undeniably exposed to the challenges facing global supply chains and I am grateful to all involved in the programme for their continued work and dedication," he said.

The Wedgetail will be operated by 8 Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth, with the aircraft procured by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).

Richard Murray, DE&S Director Air Support, said the installation of the sensor "marks a key milestone in the development of the UK E7 Wedgetail fleet".

"This is a hugely complex programme that is being delivered in a difficult global supply chain environment given the challenges of the last two years."