E-3 Sentry (AWACs)
- 145 feet, 9 inches
- 153 feet
- 41 feet, 9 inches
- 325,00 lbs maximum
- 530 mph
- 11 hour endurance
- Four 21,00 lbs Pratt and Whitney TF33-P-100turbofans
- 4 in aircraft, 16 in AWACS
- Air Force
*The AWACs aircraft is easily identifiable by the large, saucer-shaped radar protruding out of the fuselage. This plane is designed to oversee all aircraft in an operating area, identify friend or foe, and then dispatch an appropriate response to deal with threats. Saudi Arabia also possesses a number of these aircraft which we sold to them in the early 1980's.
The Iraqis were said to have a number of Il-76 Candid aircraft built by the Soviets and retooled by the Iraq into a Adnan1 and Adnan2. This aircraft has a similar appearance and electronic capability as the AWACs aircraft, but without proper fighter cover, would be vulnerable to U.S. attack.
Actions in Desert Storm--
AWACs played an invaluable role in the success of the air war. With thousands of sorties a day, and sometimes hundreds in one specific area, it is a tribute to the skill of the AWACs that there were no mid-air collisions. During the battle of Khafji, there were so many planes in one sector that the pilots had to wait fifteen minutes to get clearance from the AWACs to make their runs. AWACs also played an important role in keeping Iraqi fighters away from allied aircraft. Since Saudi Arabia already has a number of these aircraft, the coordination between the U.S. and the Saudis was made much easier in this crisis.
The Iraqi AWACs were not called upon in an air defense role. With the lack of Iraqi air power, there was little need for the plane and a number of them reportedly flew to Iran for safe haven.
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