The Wedgetail, which is the RAAF equivalent of RAF Waddington’s own E-3D Sentry aircraft, is based at RAAF Williamtown on the east coast of Australia and will make the flight to the UK after taking part in a major exercise in Alaska, solely for the airshow.
It will be the first time a RAAF Wedgetail has been to a UK airshow. The first aircraft was delivered to Australia in 2009, and is a welcome addition to what is shaping up to be a truly international event, at the home of the UK's Combat ISTAR capability.
Based upon Boeing’s most successful airliner, the 737, the Wedgetail aircraft has an endurance of 10 hours without inflight refuelling and can fly up to 41,000 ft.
Combat ISTAR, which means Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance,is RAF Waddington’s primary role and provides support to allied forces at home for national security and in operational theatres.
The combat ISTAR theme is an enduring theme for the airshow and the participation of the RAAF ISTAR aircraft will give visitors the chance to see a different and new type of platform with an ISTAR capability.
RAAF involvement at the airshow reinforces the strong links between Australia and Lincolnshire, where many RAAF personnel were based during the Second World War, and more recently at RAF Waddington, which has a number of personnel on exchange tours between their respective military services.
The Wedgetail joins the growing list of international participants following the news that the Swiss F-18 Hornet will make a welcome return after 10 years absence from the show, partnered by the Swiss Super Puma display, which has not been seen in the UK since 2001.
More information can be found by visiting the RAF Waddington International Airshow website at www.waddingtonairshow.co.uk.
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