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Boeing eliminated from the competition for developing the successor to the E-4B ‘Night Watch’ – Towards the emergence of next-generation command aircraft through new perspectives and use of technology

In the US Air Force, there are ongoing efforts to develop a successor to the command aircraft ‘E-4B Night Watch’ which possesses advanced communication capabilities. News has surfaced that Boeing, aspiring for further efficiency and progress from this competition, has been eliminated.

The E-4B Night Watch is a command plane based on Boeing’s commercial plane 747, capable of taking command in emergencies comparable to ‘the end of the world’, such as nuclear warfare or large-scale disasters. However, the technology of this E-4B has become increasingly outdated, and updates were becoming urgently needed.

For this reason, the US Air Force planned to develop a successor to the E-4B. Boeing, among many other aircraft manufacturers, participated in this competition. However, on December 1st, 2023, it was announced that Boeing had been eliminated from the race.

This suggests that the US Air Force was not convinced by Boeing’s proposal for the design of the successor aircraft. As a result, there is an increased likelihood that the successor will be manufactured by a manufacturer other than Boeing, and there may be potential for evolution from an airliner-based aircraft.

This could significantly change the performance, design, and even the functionalities of the successor. With Boeing’s elimination, a new perspective and technology could be incorporated, fostering expectations of a more advanced next-generation command plane to emerge.


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