Turkey received the last of four Boeing 737 AWACS aircraft under the Peace Eagle program on Wednesday, the company announced. “Turkey is currently the only nation in this region with the AEW&C [Airborne Early Warning and Control] capability,” Boeing Turkey’s managing director Aysem Sargin Isil said in a release. “Combining Boeing’s innovative engineering with the expertise provided by local Turkish industry partners, we’ve delivered an advanced world-class airborne surveillance system to our customer,” she added. The Turkish air force planned to take delivery? of its first AWACS in 2009, but development setbacks meant the first aircraft entered service in early 2014, IHS Jane’s reported. The fourth aircraft was delivered to Konya AB, Turkey, joining the rest of the fleet there on Dec. 9. Konya also serves as a forward operating location for NATO’s AWACS fleet. Boeing delivered a total of 14 aircraft, including six E-7 Wedgetails for the Royal Australian Air Force, and four aircraft for the Republic of Korea Air Force under the Peace Eye program.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.