The eyes and ears of many air forces around the world, this is the Boeing E-3 Sentry.
This is an AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) or AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control) meant to keep an eye on all airborne threats that are flying in it’s area of deployment or battle zone and forward units to their intended missions.
The E-3 was entered service in 1977 and since then has served with the USAF, Royal Air Force, NATO, French Air Force (Armee de l’air) and Royal Saudi Air Force.
You might notice a difference between the aircraft’s engines in the pictures, that’s because the USAF’s E-3 Sentry are equipped with TF-33/JT3D turbofan engines (low bypass, small engines) and the Royal Air Force, French Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Force E-3′s are fitted with the newer CFM International CFM56 (F108) (high bypass, larger engines).
One of it’s most distinctive aspects is the rotodome on top of the aircraft, which houses the Northrop Grumman AN/APY-½ radar. The radome with the radar in operation scans at six revolutions per minute and one revolution every four minutes when the radar in not operating.
The E-3 participated in many large-scale operations such as Op. Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Eagle Assist following the 9/11 WTC (World Trade Center) attacks, and Inherent Resolve.
That’s it for this photo series, as always if you have any suggestions or want to send pictures for me to upload, don’t be shy, i’ll be more than happy to set them up.