The Rick Mercer Report

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Royal Air Force

Yes it's big, heavy and it's coming to Windsor!
The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an American military airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft based on the Boeing 707 that provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications, to the United Kingdom. The four CFM 56 engines have reverse thrust, and are efficient and quiet. Given sufficient runway length, the aircraft can stay airborne for over 10 hours. This time can be extended by air-air refuelling: the E-3D has both “drogue and probe” and “boom receptacle” AAR systems, and can accept fuel from most US and UK/NATO tankers. The main limitation to airborne time is crew fatigue.
The main sensor of the E-3D Sentry is the AN/APY-2 surveillance radar, built by Northrop-Grumman. The multimode radar has both pulse doppler (PD) and basic pulse modes, which allow it to detect targets out to 300 nautical miles. The PD radar allows look-down capability, over all terrains, out to the radar horizon (which is 210 miles at the normal cruising altitude of 29,000 ft). One aircraft flying at 30,000 feet has a radar coverage of 312,000 square kilometers. Three aircraft in overlapping orbits can provide complete radar coverage of all of Central Europe. The pulse radar is used in the “Beyond the Horizon (BTH)” mode and therefore avoids ground clutter. It is also used to detect shipping out to the radar horizon when used. The radar system was upgraded in 1999 to “Radar System Improved Package” (RSIP) standard, which gives detection of smaller stealthy targets.
Get the chance to see this aircraft land at Windsor International Airport. This is a rare visit and our Volunteers are looking forward to hosting the RAF this year.