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E-3 Sentry AWACS

The E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system, or AWACS, aircraft  with an integrated command and control battle management, or C2BM, surveillance, target detection, and tracking platform.  The aircraft provides an accurate, real-time picture of the battlespace to the Joint Air Operations Center. AWACS provides situational awareness of friendly, neutral and hostile activity, command and control of an area of responsibility, battle management of theater forces, all-altitude and all-weather surveillance of the battle space, and early warning of enemy actions during joint, allied, and coalition operations.
E-3 Sentry AWACS Copyright © Senior Master Sgt. Robert J. Sabonis, U.S. Air Force


In active service


Primary contractor: Boeing


Flight Crew
2 Pilots
1 Navigator
1 Flight Engineer
Mission Crew
13-19 Specialists (mission crew size varies according to mission)


Length: 46.61 meters 152.92 feet
Wingspan: 44.42 meters 145.75 feet
Height: 12.73 meters 41.75 feet
Empty weight (without fuel): ~92 990 kilograms 205 000 pounds
Maximum takeoff weight: ~147 420 kilograms 325 000 pounds
Power plant: four Pratt and Whitney TF33-PW-100A turbofan engines
Thrust: ~9 300 kilograms (each engine) 20 500 pounds (each engine)
Fuel capacity: ~79 490 liters 21 000 gallons
Optimum cruise speed: ~580 kilometers per hour 360 miles per hour
Ceiling: 8 840+ meters 29 000+ feet
Range: 5 000+ nautical miles (9 260+ kilometers) (5 750+ miles)
Rotodome diameter: 9.14 meters 30 feet
Rotodome thickness: 1.83 meters 6 feet
Rotodome mounted: 3.35 meters above fuselage 11 feet above fuselage