The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has begun the first 737 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) maintenance training programme, as part of Project Wedgetail.

Boeing will conduct the training under the five-year in-service support (ISS) contract for Project Wedgetail, Australia’s 737 AEW&C programme.

Boeing Defence Australia has begun the training on 15 February 2010, with five of its instructors and 32 students from the RAAF No. 2 squadron, at the AEW&C support centre at RAAF Base Williamtown.

A combination of classroom and computer-based lessons, operational flight trainer (OFT) simulator sessions and real-life flight line training will make up the 147-day programme.

The ISS training will include a series of basic maintenance training courses delivered under the Project Wedgetail SAC.

The RAAF received the first two Wedgetail aircraft from Boeing on 26 November 2009, before launching the first ISS maintenance training programme using the aircraft.

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The 737 AEW&C aircraft design is based on the Boeing next-generation 737-700 commercial airplane.

It is equipped with an advanced multirole electronically scanned radar to provide airborne battle-management capability.

The 737 AEW&C aircraft includes ten state-of-the-art mission crew consoles for simultaneously tracking airborne and maritime targets.