Nato intensifies efforts against ISIS in Iraq and Syria


Nato has intensified its efforts against ISIS by deploying its advanced airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft to provide surveillance and situational awareness.

The AWACS aircraft will fly only in international airspace or over Turkey to support the Global Coalition's overall air picture.

The aircraft will not coordinate coalition air strikes or provide command and control for fighter aircraft, Nato said in a statement.

"The move represents Nato’s determination to help tackle security challenges coming from the south."

AWACS has the ability to detect aircraft hundreds of kilometres away, which means airspace in Iraq and Syria can be monitored from inside Turkey.

The move represents Nato’s determination to help tackle security challenges coming from the south.

Currently, Nato operates a fleet of 16 AWACS surveillance aircraft.

Derived from Boeing 707, Nato’s AWACS can provide air surveillance, command and control, battle space management and communications.

The aircraft uses a radar dish to detect aircraft and ships at great distance. It can detect low flying targets within 400km and at medium altitude targets within 520km.

The AWACS aircraft are based at the Nato Airbase Geilenkirchen in Germany, with forward operating airfields in Greece, Italy, Turkey and Norway.

They are operated by personnel selected from 15 Nato member countries.

To date, AWACS have played an important role in Nato activities in Afghanistan, Libya and the Balkans.