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NATO E-3A Sentry

The E-3A Sentry is an airborne warning and control system (AWACS), which normally operates at high altitudes, giving it an excellent all round radar picture. When established at these altitudes, a single E-3A can continuously survey the airspace within a radius of more than 400km of the aircraft and, using digital data links, exchange information with ground and sea-based commanders.

Geilenkirchen Air Base in Germany is home to NATO's 17 E-3As. Whilst their principle role is air surveillance, they can also help co-ordinate air-to-air refuelling missions, combat search-and-rescue and the support and control of friendly aircraft.

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