Wedgetail off defense 'concern' list

Dec. 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

FYSHWICK, Australia, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The Wedgetail has been removed from the Australia's "Projects of Concern" list.

In 2000 the Australian Ministry of Defense became interested in the Project AIR 5077 Airborne Early Warning and Control Wedgetail aircraft. The Wedgetail is manufactured by Boeing and Australia's Defense Ministry allocated $3.8 billion to purchase six 737-700BBJ AEW&C Wedgetail aircraft fitted with an advanced multi-role electronically scanned radar and 10 mission crew consoles.

Subsequent delays and cost overruns led the Ministry of Defense to issue a statement noting: "The project was listed as a Project of Concern in January 2008 due to schedule delays and increasing complexity of the technical development of the project. A formal remediation plan was agreed to in 2011, with a number of key objectives identified, including the achievement of Initial Operating Capacity," Australian Aviation website reported Friday.

As a result of improvements, Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith and Defense Materiel Minister Jason Clare announced that Wedgetail had been stricken from the government's "Projects of Concern" list.

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