Turkey’s eye in the sky

Onur Kurç and Tayfun Ya s˛ar look at the Turkish Air Force’s Boeing 737 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, which has overcome early problems to patrol NATO airspace at home and abroad.

E-7T Peace Eagle

The THK Peace Eagle fleet is now available to support the alliance’s operations and protected the NATO Summit in Warsaw in 2016. Here, E-7T serial 13-003, named ‘Güney’ (south), extends its landing gear in flight over the Czech Republic during the NATO Days event at Ostrava in September 2017.
Evert Keijzer

Turkey initiated its AEW&C aircraft project for its air force – the Turk Hava Kuvvetleri (THK) – in order to help cement its status as a regional power. Such a platform would allow early identification of possible border violations – by fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and missiles – and prevent potential incursions or attacks if ground radars were rendered ineffective. As well as serving with the THK, the aircraft was expected to play an active role in operations led by the army and navy.

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