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Chile commissions two former British E-3D Sentry aircraft

E-3d Sentry in Chilean Air Force service
Photo: Chile defense ministry

The Chilean Air Force has officially inducted the two E-3D Sentry aircraft Chile bought from the UK Royal Air Force in January this year.

The South American country commissioned two of the three airframes it bought, while the third one will be used for spare parts.

Chile’s defense minister Maya Fernández Allende attended the ceremony at Pudahuel Air Base in Santiago on August 19, noting that the two E-3Ds are replacing the Israel Aerospace Industries Phalcon (also referred to as Cóndor in Chile) currently in service.

The defense ministry expects the two airframes to fly for the next 20 years, in a capacity that will represent a “comparative strategic advantage, since it allows access to advanced technology, procedures and knowledge, increasing the control and security of the national airspace.”

The Royal Air Force retired its last E-3D in 2021, with a sundown ceremony on September 30. The fleet, which first entered RAF service in 1991, will be replaced in 2023 by three Boeing E-7 Wedgetails that will operate from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

During its years of service, the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) platform supported operation Iraqi Freedom, which saw the AWACS fleet clock up more flying hours in Iraqi airspace than all other RAF aircraft combined, as well as operation Shader in the fight against Daesh.