Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star
|Ρόλο||Airborne early warning and control aircraft|
|Πρώτη πτήση||9 June 1949|
Teh Προειδοποιητικό αστέρι Lockheed EC-121 is a United States Navy and United States Air Force Airborne early warning and control radar surveillance aircraft. A military version of the Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation, it was designed to serve as an airborne early warning system to supplement the Distant Early Warning Line, using two large radomes, a vertical dome above and a horizontal one below the fuselage. Soñé EC-121s were also used for intelligence gathering (SIGINT). It was introduced in 1954 and retired from service in 1978, although a single specially modified EW aircraft remained in service with the U.S. Navy until 1982.
|Lockheed EC-121D Warning Star Walk Around|
|Εντοπισμού||Aerospace Museum of California, McClellan|
|YEC-121K Constellation Walk Around|
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|Lockheed EC-121T Walk Around|
The Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star was a four-engine low-wing aircraft, developed for military use from the original Lockheed L-049 Constellation passenger airliner, produced by the American company Lockheed Corporation in the 1950s and used, mainly, as an AEW aircraft for electronic warfare by the United States Navy and the United States Air Force.
The EC-121 was equipped with two large radomes, a vertical dome above and a horizontal one below the fuselage, that housed sophisticated radar systems for airborne early warning and control. The EC-121 also performed signal intelligence (SIGINT) missions and served as an airborne command post during the Vietnam War.
The EC-121 was derived from the Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation, which was itself an improved version of the L-749 Constellation. The first prototype of the EC-121, designated PO-1W (later WV-1), flew for the first time on June 9, 1949. The most produced variant was the WV-2 (later EC-121D), which entered service in 1954 and was delivered in 142 units.
The EC-121 was retired from service in 1978 by the USAF and in 1982 by the USN, after being replaced by more advanced aircraft such as the Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS. A total of 232 EC-121s were built in various versions for both services.
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