AWACS Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft are an airborne radar system designed to detect aircraft, marine ships and land based vehicles that may be a threat to friendly forces on the battlefield. The air based system provides command and control functions of friendly assets to engage enemy threats in the most efficient way possible. AWACS planes can direct multiple fighter and attack aircraft strikes simultaneously while monitoring friendly and hostile forces at the same time. AWACS aircraft can also perform surveillance of threats and frequently provide command and control battle management functions very much like air traffic controllers provide for modern airports.
The airborne radar systems of the AWACS aircraft allow operators to detect and track both enemy forces and friendly forces at much greater distances than conventional ground based radar system.
Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS In Action
Airborne radar planes like AWACS and other Early Warning Aircraft utilize the latest in air to ground microwave RF communication systems. Modern radar and communication systems are composed of microwave components that are used onboard the aircraft as well as in ground based satellite communication systems to exchange data with aircraft and satellites. Microwave components from manufacturers include directional couplers, variable attenuators, waveguide components and coaxial components and are used throughout microwave communication systems.