First NATO E-3A to retire

NATO E-3A Component will officially retire its first aircraft when LX-N 90449 leaves the component on Jun. 23. It flew its last mission, an 11.5 hour mission, on May 13.

A historic event - First NATO E-3A aircraft to retire
Photo by Hay Janssen

The aircraft is being stripped of its parts leaving only flight-essential equipment for the aircraft to make a final non-stop flight from Germany to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base for retirement.

Aircraft 449 joined the NATO fleet in August 19, 1983 and had accumulated 22,206.29 flight hours so far.

The decision to retire the AWACS was due to the fact that it requires a Depot Level Maintenance (DLM) inspection next month and NATO has decided to reduce the E-3A fleet. Thus, 449 is the first to cut from active service.

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