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The Turkish Air Force (TuAF) has taken delivery of the third Peace Eagle airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft from Boeing at Konya Air Base in Turkey.

Boeing is scheduled to hand over a total of four Peace Eagle AWACS aircraft to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) to help the country improve its self-defence capabilities, under a $1.6bn deal signed with the Turkish Government in May 2002.

The Peace Eagle programme also includes the delivery of ground support segments for mission crew training, mission support and system maintenance.

Based on the Boeing 737-700 commercial airplane, the Peace Eagle AEW&C aircraft is equipped with Northrop Grumman-built multi-role electronically scanned array antenna with integrated identification friend-or-foe (IFF) capabilities.

"Boeing’s Peace Eagle AWACS aircraft is expected to help Turkey improve its self-defence capabilities."

Expected to enable TAF to simultaneously track airborne and maritime targets, the aircraft features a flexible, open architecture for cost-effective future upgrades and an extensive communications suite and aerial refuelling capability.

The first two AEW&C aircraft were delivered to Konya Air Base, the fleet’s main operating base, in January and May 2014 respectively, while the fourth aircraft is scheduled to be handed over to Turkey in 2015.

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The 737 AEW&C platforms are also operated by the Australian and South Korean air forces.

As subcontractors to Boeing, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is modifying three aircraft and providing flight operations, while Havelsan is providing system software and the ground support centre.

Image: The third Peace Eagle airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft of the Turkish Armed Forces. Photo: courtesy of Turkish Aerospace Industries.

Defence Technology