The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) E-7A Wedgetail aircraft have achieved final operational capability, enabling the service to have the most advanced air battle space management capability.

The six Wedgetail aircraft are now fully operational and able to support ongoing operations after they completed the entire capability from physical aircraft to logistics, management, sustainment, facilities and training.

According to Australian Air Force deputy chief air vice-marshal Gavin Davies, AO, CSC, this development will help the country to control and survey vast areas of operation.

Davies said: "The aircraft’s advanced multi-role radar gives the air force the ability to survey, command, control and co-ordinate a joint air, sea and land operations in real time.

"The aircraft’s advanced multi-role radar gives RAAF the ability to survey, command, control and co-ordinate a joint air, sea and land operations in real time."

"As we transition into a more technologically advanced force as part of Plan Jericho, the Wedgetail will be able to support future aircraft and surveillance systems."

The aircraft, which was involved in Operation Okra in the Middle East region, has already completed more than 100 surveillance sorties with coalition partners, flying more than 1,200 hours.

In addition, the aircraft will be part of the air search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean.

The E-7A Wedgetail is based on Boeing 737-700. It features advanced multi-role electronically scanned array (MESA) radar and ten mission crew consoles.

The aircraft is capable of covering four million square kilometres during a single ten-hour mission and can communicate with other aircraft and providing air control from the sky.

This fleet of aircraft improves the effectiveness of existing Australian Defence Force and civil surveillance agencies and helps maintain an advanced technological capability.

Image: Two RAAF Wedgetail aircraft during Red Flag 2013 exercises. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo.