Boeing delivered the fourth and final Peace Eagle airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to the Turkish Air Force on December 9, completing deliveries it started years late due to development problems. The air force received the aircraft at Konya Air Base in central Turkey.
The Peace Eagle is based on the Boeing 737-700 airframe, fitted with the Northrop Grumman multi-role electronically scanned array surveillance radar. With the deliveries to Turkey, Boeing has supplied 14 such surveillance platforms, including six Australian Wedgetail and four South Korean Peace Eye aircraft.
Under the original $1.6 billion contract Boeing signed with Turkey in June 2002 and started a year later, the manufacturer and Turkish industrial partners planned to complete deliveries by 2008. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Turkish Airlines, Havelsan and Aselsan completed modifications in Turkey.
Boeing rolled out the first Peace Eagle aircraft from its Renton, Wash., facility in 2004. The first flight of an aircraft modified by TAI in Turkey was in 2008. After relations between Turkey and Israel deteriorated in 2010, the Israeli defense ministry prevented the Elta division of Israel Aerospace Industries from supplying an electronic support measures system, delaying the modifications. The first three Peace Eagle aircraft were handed over to the Turkish air force last year.
The fourth aircraft includes upgraded software and a software support center, the final piece of the ground support segment. “Previously delivered Peace Eagles will receive the upgraded software soon,” Boeing said.
“Turkey is currently the only nation in this region with the AEW&C capability,” said Aysem Sargin Isil, Boeing managing director for Turkey. “By combining Boeing’s innovative engineering with the expertise provided by local Turkish industry partners, we’ve delivered an advanced world-class airborne surveillance system to our customer.”