The first Turkish Air Force Boeing 737 HiK/Peace Eagle AEW&C (Image © THK)

Turkey’s eye in the sky in service

The first Turkish Air Force Boeing 737 HiK/Peace Eagle AEW&C (Image © THK)
The first Turkish Air Force Boeing 737 HiK/Peace Eagle AEW&C (Image © THK)

The Turkish Air Force (Türk Hava Kuvvetleri) will officially field its first new Boeing 737 Peace Eagle Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft on 21 February 2014.

A special ceremony to inaugurate the type into Turkish service will be held on that day at 3rd Main Jet Base of Konya (3’üncü Ana Jet Üs Komutanlığı), according to a press release, more than 5 years after its first flight.

The Peace Eagle Project is more than seven years behind schedule, with three remaining aircraft not even close to entering service. Boeing and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) had loads of problems with integrating the systems, including the aircraft’s essential radars. The American company has paid Turkey hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

Turkish Air Force B737 HİK’s concept has parallels with the Royal Australian Air Force Wedgetail AEW&C and South Korea’s Peace Eye AEW&C aircraft. All three types of aircraft are based on the commercial Boeing 737-700.

© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger