This is how the AWACS planes that monitor the sky of Madrid are

This is how the AWACS planes that monitor the sky of Madrid are

These days the NATO summit is being held in Madrid. And the deployment of security, how could it be otherwise, is unprecedented. And among all the security devices, there is one that stands out in a special way: the AWACS that flies over the Spanish sky to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

AWACS is the acronym for Airborne Early Warning and Control, or airborne early warning and control system. Although many confuse them with an airplane, it is actually a complete surveillance system that is mounted on an aircraft. In fact, AWACS systems are available on many different aircraft, including helicopters.

During the NATO summit, the AWACS that watches the skies is the E-3 Sentry. It is an airborne warning and control system for target detection and surveillance that functions as a complete tracking platform. In the case of E-3 Sentry, the system is integrated into the fuselage of a Boeing 707/320similar to that of commercial flights, which is modified in such a way that it has been coupled with a rotating radar dome and other avionics subsystems.

The E3-Sentry AWACS radar dome it is 9 meters in diameter, almost two meters thick and rises more than three meters above the fuselage of the plane. And what does it contain? A complete radar system that allows you to maintain surveillance of the terrain below the plane and up to the stratosphere, on land or at sea.

One of the great benefits of the AWACS system is that it can be used alone or integrated horizontally in combination with other C2BM and elements of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance of the Air Control System. In fact, evene several AWACS aircraft can be combined to work together to cover much more ground.

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AWACS – a complete radar system mounted on an aircraft

A US Air Force E-3 Sentry breaks away from a KC-135 Stratotanker after being refueled Feb. 28, 2019, while flying in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system, or AWACS, aircraft with an integrated command and control battle management, or C2BM, surveillance, target detection, and tracking platform. The aircraft provides an accurate, real-time picture of the battlespace to the Joint Air Operations Center. (US Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Clayton Cupit)

The system is especially advanced, and allows the execution of missions in a decentralized manner from other aerial tasks. The system provides the ability to find, track, and target air or sea threats and detect, locate, and identify radar emitters, both friendly and friendly. It has the ability to detect threats and control assets below and beyond ground command and control coverage, and can exchange data with other systemsradar systems or interceptor fighters, which has made it especially effective for early surveillance.

This is how the AWACS planes that monitor the sky of Madrid are
(FILE PHOTO) — The E-3 Sentry is a modified Boeing 707/320 commercial airframe with a rotating radar dome.

In total, it has a range of more than 250 miles (about 375 km) and is especially good. The difference with ground radars is that the AWACS system allows to detect, identify and track low-flying enemy and friendly aircraft by eliminating clutter on the ground that confuse other radar systems.

The AWACS crew includes a total of four flight members and 13-19 other specialists depending on the mission to be performed.

The number of AWACS aircraft varies by country, but in total there are 31 aircraft in the US inventory. The Air Combat Command has 27 E-3s, and the Pacific Air Forces has four E-3 Sentries, spread across Kadena , Japan and Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.

Furthermore, NATO has 17 E-3As and support equipment for AWACS systems. The first of the E-3s was delivered to NATO in January 1982. For its part, the United Kingdom has seven E-3s, France has four and Saudi Arabia has five. Japan has four AWACS built on the fuselage of the Boeing 767.