NATO E-3 AWACS aircraft were deployed to guard the airspace over the European Union Summit in Sibiu on Thursday, 9th of May 2019.

In a release, the Alliance point out that their AWACS aircraft routinely patrol the skies during major events, including meetings of world leaders and other high-profile public events, such as international football tournaments.

“NATO AWACS provides an important capability and we are proud to deliver support to this event”, said United States Air Force Brigadier General Andrew Hansen, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations at Allied Air Command, Ramstein.

“This shows the close cooperation between NATO and the European Union.”

Today’s mission comes at the request of the Romanian government, which is hosting the Summit of EU leaders in Sibiu.

NATO has fourteen E-3A AWACS aircraft, which are modified Boeing 707s, easily identifiable from the distinctive radar dome mounted on the fuselage.

The E-3A usually operates at an altitude of around 10 km. From this altitude a single E-3A can constantly monitor the airspace within a radius of more than 400 km and can exchange information – via digital data links – with ground-based, sea-based and airborne commanders.

An E-3A flying within NATO airspace can distinguish between targets and ground reflections and is therefore able to give early warning of any low- or high-flying aircraft.

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Fair doos if it is a NATO summit… Let the EU defend itself… and more to the point, pay for it themselves.


Germany leads the EU and they don’t even have 1 submarine that is combat ready so I severely doubt the EU could defend itself against anything.


I understand your inherent anti-EU bias, but Romania is a NATO member and therefore entitled to request use of NATO assets in security operations. Particularly those which concern the security of heads of government of NATO countries (almost 75% of EU member states are also members of NATO).


Who from?all of those nasty right wingers presumably.


As opposed to all those nasty, rioting left wingers that always show up at international summits?


I have my sarcastic head on today.


Those old 707 airframes without the updated engines are starting to look pretty old and tiered, thanks god the MOD opted for E7 instead of refurbishing our E3’s.


I wonder if NATO might want to procure our old E3’s


I’m not sure what mod state the NATO E3s are compared to ours, but I suspect ours are more up to date judging by some of the recent photos of the NATO ones. There is a distinct lack of antennas compared to ours. They are still massively out of data though, compared to a E7. Still good for detecting Russian aircraft with lots of corner reflectors though!

Mr Bell

The Romanians like most of the other ex Warsaw pact eastern European nations, that are now NATO members, have completely zero ability to defend themselves. From Russia I guess? Hence why RAF and French as well as USAF forces are constantly having to deploy to prop them up. Just papering over the cracks, with little to no thanks, none of our taxpayers costs being reimbursed etc etc. Instead these nations, requiring air policing and support should have a roadmap or pathway to wean off their dependence on their allies. Perhaps if they all spent more on defence? Poland, Hungary, Romania,… Read more »

Harry Bulpit

Poland to be fair has one of the best armies in Europe and do pay their fair share. The baltics do as well, indeed their one of the few members to actually meet the 2% issue is their economy is so low they simply cant afford jets.