The AWACS aircraft is a modified Boeing 707/320 commercial airframe
with a rotating radar dome. The dome is 30 feet in diameter, six feet
thick, and is held 11 feet above the fuselage by two struts. It contains
a radar subsystem that permits surveillance from the Earth's surface
up into the stratosphere, over land or water The radar has a range
of more than 200 miles for low-flying targets and farther for aerospace
vehicles flying at medium to high altitudes. The radar combined with
an identification friend or foe subsystem can look down to detect,
identify and track enemy and friendly low-flying aircraft by eliminating
ground clutter returns that confuse other radar systems.
surveillance, command, control and communications
Radar: Northrop Grumman
and Whitney TF33-PW-100A turbofan engines
of four plus mission crew of 13-19 specialists (mission crew
size varies according to mission)
33; Reserve, 0; Guard, 0
An E-3 crashed
22 Sep 1995 in Alaska, reducing the US fleet by one.
During the 1950s the versatile Lockheed C-130 Hercules was originally
designed as an assault transport but was adapted for a variety of
missions, including: special operations (low-level and attack),
close air support and air interdiction, mid-air space capsule recovery,
search and rescue (SAR), aerial refueling of helicopters, weather
mapping and reconnaissance, electronic surveillance, fire fighting,
aerial spraying, Arctic/Antarctic ice resupply and natural disaster
Currently, the Hercules primarily performs the intratheater portion
of the tactical airlift mission. This medium-range aircraft is capable
of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport
for paratroop and equipment drops into hostile areas.
Bird, Slick, Fat Albert
Aeronautical Systems Co.
Over 60 nations
worldwide, including the United States