The Australian Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) has taken initial delivery of two airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft from Boeing.

The prototype wedgetail aircraft will be critical to Australia’s air combat capability and will play a key role in achieving the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) network-enabled war fighting capability.

The aircraft will enhance surveillance, air defence, fleet support and force coordination operations, once operational.

At present, the aircraft are undergoing test and evaluation and further tests will take place focused on the system’s radar, electronic support measures, integrated system performance and stability.

Following the delivery, the force will be able to conduct familiarisation training while Boeing completes the remaining test programme and acceptance activities.

The initial acceptance of the two aircraft are scheduled for 2011 by Commonwealth, that will eventually acquire six AEW&Cs for $3.7bn (A$4bn).