The first Australian E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft began operations in 2010. The AEW&C aircraft represented an entirely new capability for the ADF, providing a platform that would control the tactical battle space, providing direction for fighter aircrafts, surface combatants and land-based elements; as well as supporting aircrafts such as tankers and intelligence platforms. On completion of the acquisition phase, the ADF sought to assess the capability offered by this complex system through the conduct of an Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) program.
Nova Systems was engaged in 2010 to provide a turn-key OT&E solution, involving teams of specialists responsible for the planning, management, conduct and reporting of the OT&E program. Nova helped the ADF develop a capability assessment concept for the AEW&C, wrote and executed detailed test plans, and provided the ADF with an accurate assessment of the capability offered by the AEW&C. As part of initial acquisition, Nova developed, produced and managed the E-7A Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP), governing the planning and conduct or all T&E activities in the Program. This work was instrumental in the ADF being able to achieve a declaration of Initial Operating Capability for the AEW&C in December 2012.
Subsequently, Nova’s systems test specialists and E-7A subject matter experts continued to provide T&E services to all spiral development upgrade projects within the Wedgetail sustainment program. This includes the development of test documentation, directing the execution of both Developmental and Operational test of capability enhancements to the E-7A Wedgetail system, and managing relevant test events within the prime contractor’s T&E program; ensuring Air Force’s obligations of integrity, safety and airworthiness continue to be satisfied.
Nova was also engaged to provide embedded support to Air Force’s acquisition of the E-7A Wedgetail Phase 5A Interoperability and Compliance Upgrade Program capability. Integral to Air Force’s AEW&C Phase 5A Project Office, Nova oversaw and managed the conduct of Phase 5A system Developmental, Verification and Acceptance test, and provided governance functions and operational advice that informs fundamental aspects of the Phase 5A software development effort. In managing T&E events, Nova provided the coordination of test support assets and formal support to Verification and Acceptance test activities.
Nova continues to provide peerless services within the E-7A Wedgetail T&E program. The continued engagement of Nova Systems as Air Force’s Major Service Provider for specialist T&E requirements to AEW&C is testament to the closely integrated and trusted relationship between Air Force and Nova Systems.