The E-3D Sentry AEW Mk 1 (Boeing 707-320B)

The Airframe

The E-3D Sentry is built by Boeing and is based on the extremely successful 707 airliner. It has been extensively modified to equip it for the AEW role by the addition of a long range surveillance radar, which is housed in the black radome on top of the aircraft, a suite of modern secure communications systems including digital data links, electronic support measures (ESM) equipment and comprehensive IFF identification systems. The engines have been changed to more powerful CFM-56s and a refuelling probe has been added so that the E-3D is capable of air-to-air refuelling from any NATO tanker.

Primary Function

Airborne surveillance, command, control and communications

Power Plant

Four CFM 56 2A-3 engines of 24,000lbs thrust each



  • Wingspan: 44.98m
  • Length: 46.68m
  • Height: 12.70m


  • Diameter: 9.1m
  • Thickness: 1.8m
  • Rotation: 6 RPM


More than 800 kph. Operational cruise: 360-400 kts

Operational Altitude

Above 30,000 ft

Maximum Take-off Weight

332,500 lbs


More than 10 hours unrefuelled, dual AAR capable


Not a lot!


Westinghouse AN/APY 2

Prime Contractor

Boeing Aerospace Co, Seattle, Washington, USA

Maintained by: 23 Squadron
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