Boeing has announced the delivery of the first of four 737 AEW&C Peace Eagle aircraft to Turkey.
The Peace Eagle is essentially a derivative of the E-7A Wedgetail in RAAF service, and its delivery sees Turkey become the third operator to induct the aircraft after Australia and South Korea.
“The Peace Eagle program is an example of great cooperation among the Turkish government and our excellent Turkish industry teammates, including Turkish Aerospace Industries, HAVELSAN, Turkish Airlines and MiKES,” Mark Ellis, Peace Eagle program manager for Boeing said in a statement. “What’s more, the aircraft can be used immediately because initial training for mission system operators, maintenance crews and pilots has been completed.”
Boeing says the Peace Eagles will be based at Konya Air Base, and that two more will be delivered this year with the fourth following in 2015.
Like Wedgetail, the Peace Eagle program has not been without significant technical problems and delays. Delivery of the first aircraft had originally been scheduled for late 2008, and Turkey and Boeing are reportedly in negotiations for penalties on the US$1.6bn (A$1.75bn) project.