“NATO AWACS can detect aircraft, missiles and drones hundreds of kilometres away, making them an important early warning capability”, said NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu, adding that “Moldova is a close and long-standing partner to NATO.”
In response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, NATO has increased its air presence in eastern Europe with additional fighter aircraft, surveillance aircraft, and tankers. AWACS conduct regular patrols over eastern Europe and the Baltic Sea region to track Russian warplanes near NATO borders. NATO has fourteen AWACS aircraft, which are modified Boeing 707s. Flying at an altitude of around 10 km, a single AWACS can monitor the airspace within a 400 km radius.
NATO AWACS also routinely patrol the skies during major international events, including NATO Summits, most recently in Madrid last June, and other high-profile events, such as international football tournaments or the Olympics.