The E-3 Sentry is an Early warning defense aircraft (AWACS) built for the the Air force and is a modified Boeing 707. It includes a huge radar dish on top which makes up its hugely distinguishing characteristic.
The E-3 was designed and built in 1971 to replace the aging piston engined Lockheed EC-121 "warning star" (C-121 Constellation). The E-3 was first flown in 1976 and entered service soon after. By the time production stopped in 1991, there was 68 E-3's built. The huge 30 foot Diameter radar dish at the roof of the aircraft help to detect aircraft and invasion forces before they striked at crucial bases and and convoys, and help serve in conflicts from the Cold war to Iraq. Though lately the early warning system role is being converted to the Boeing E-767 AN AWACS Boeing 767, there is still a few serving and has proven itself in early warning technologies, and most are expected to survive until 2050 with the B-52 Stratofortress. The E-3 serves the US, France, NATO, Saudi Arabia, Britian, and Germany as the lead AWACS aircraft putting a lasting impression on the world's air forces.
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