Technically known as airborne early warning and control systems, the phrase "AWACS" often serves as a catch-all for the US military's aerial command and control functions. The lead and most visible craft of this sort is the Boeing E-3 Sentry, a 707 that's been modified to accommodate a massive, rotating radar dome on its back.

While in use by the Air Force, the E-3 is far from the only plane to wear the AWACS designator. The other well-known entry is the US Navy's carrier-borne E-2 Hawkeye, a propeller-driven stalwart that's been launching itself off the Navy's flattops since Lyndon Johnson sat in the White House. Both the E-2 and E-3 serve as battlefield coordinators for both land- and sea-based aircraft in a war theater.

The E-8 Joint STARS, meanwhile, could be thought of as AWACS for ground forces. Short for Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, the JSTARS is, like the E-3, based on a modified Boeing 707. It uses a variety of electronic systems to monitor ground activity, and can deliver vectoring and other intelligence to both land and air forces.

From Our Partners

You May Like
Links by Zergnet


There are no questions about this topic.
Be the first to ask!
Share This Photo X