14639 1/144 E-3 NATO (standard)
The E-3 airborne warning and control system (AWACS) is designed to carry out airborne surveillance and command, control and communications (C3) functions for both tactical and air defense forces. The E-3 entered service in 1977. There are 32 aircraft are in service with the USAF, 7 with the UK Royal Air Force, 4 with the French Air Force and 5 with Saudi Arabia. The NATO airborne early warning force, established in 1980, has a fleet of 17 E-3A aircraft.
In a tactical role, the E-3 can detect and track hostile aircraft operating at low altitudes over any terrain, and can identify and control friendly aircraft in the same airspace. In the strategic defense role, the E-3 provides the means to detect, identify, track and intercept airborne threats.
During the 1990 to 1991 Operation Desert Storm, 845 AWACS sorties were flown and Nato E-3s have also played a major role in the United Nations’ enforcement of the no-fly zone over Bosnia and during the Kosovo crisis. AWACS aircraft were also used by the USAF during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001 and Operation