Top 10 AWACS (AEW&C) Aircraft In The World

Radar is a radio detection technology used to locate and identify objects in the environment; radar systems are not limited to detecting aerial targets. It is also used in the oceans to detect ships. 

The operators who are far away will be able to find and follow it. Since enemy planes often fly low and cover a large area, giving directions to friendly planes in the same area, these planes need to have a wide field of view and be able to cover ground quickly. Having radar coverage in the area is an interesting opportunity.

Airborne Early Warning and Control (AW&C) System (AEW&C), Worldwide Awacs (AEW&C) Aircraft have several advantages over human monitors on the ground, including the ability to cover more ground during a flyby or loiter. They have the ability to give ground observers a unique bird’s-eye view. Capable of surveying dangerous areas from a safe distance.

The question arises of who can perform these tasks, precisely who can control where armed fighters are located, the status of disputed areas, and how peacekeepers can travel to targeted sites. These pertinent questions The answer could be significantly aided by aerial surveillance of the so-called NATO eyes in the sky.

List of the Top 10 AWACS (AEW&C) Aircraft In The World.

1. The Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye ( AWACS Aircraft ) 

Top 10 AWACS (AEW&C) Aircraft In The World.
E-2 Hawkeye

France, Mexico, Egypt, Taiwan, Japan, the United States, and Taiwan are the operators. The E-2 Hawkeye is the most common type of AEW&C system today. It is flown by the air forces of Egypt, Japan, and Taiwan and by the French and US navies as carrier-based assets. 

We list 96 different types of military aircraft with two engines for these countries. The US Navy still needs at least 36 more D-Model planes. In the latest version, the platform’s ability to control aerial warfare has been improved.

2. Boeing E-3 AWACS 

Top 10 AWACS (AEW&C) Aircraft In The World

The E-3 Sentry is an AWACS (airborne warning and control system) aircraft that may also be used as a C2BM (command and control battle management) surveillance, target detection, and tracking platform. 

The aircraft’s surveillance gives the Joint Air Operations Center a clear, up-to-date picture of what is happening in the war zone.

The system can detect, locate, and ID emitters and locate, fix, track, and target aerial or maritime threats. As well as exchanging data with other C2 systems and shooters via datalinks, it can also identify threats and control assets below and beyond the scope of ground-based C2.

3. Ilyushin Il-76/Beriev A-50 

Top 10 AWACS (AEW&C) Aircraft In The World.
Ilyushin Il-76

Beriev A-50 is a Soviet airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft derived from the Ilyushin Il-76 transport, the Beriev A-50 (NATO reporting name: Mainstay).

The A-50 made its maiden voyage in 1978, designed to replace the Tupolev Tu-126 “Moss.” In 1980, Adolf Tolkachev informed the Western Bloc of its existence. It entered service in 1984, and by 1992, around 40 had been manufactured.

The A-50 can direct up to 10 fighter aircraft for either air-to-air intercept or air-to-ground attack operations. It has a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), a maximum takeoff weight of 190 metric tons, and a maximum flight time of four hours (420,000 lb). Tankers of the Il-78 model can refuel the planes.

Operators: India, China, Russia.

4. Kamov Ka-31

Top 10 AWACS (AEW&C) Aircraft In The World.
Kamov Ka-31

The helicopter used for airborne early warning, the Ka-31, is derived from the Ka-29TB, formerly known as Ka-29RLD (Radiolokatsyonnogo Dozora, or radar picket helicopter). This AEW design was developed in the 1980s and debuted in 1988.

The Ka-31’s primary role is the long-range detection of airborne and naval threats. This aircraft can track objects over a significantly broader horizon than ship radars.

It is a significant accomplishment for the maritime task force, whose ships cannot operate carrier-borne early warning aircraft. The Ka-31 is primarily employed on the Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, Sovremeny class, and Udaloy class destroyers in the Russian Navy.

Operators: Russia, China, India. 

5. Saab Erieye 

Top 10 AWACS (AEW&C) Aircraft In The World.
Saab Erieye

Saab Systems Erieye PS-890 side-looking reconnaissance radar is mounted on the spine of the Saab 2000 Erieye AEW&C airborne early warning and control aircraft, derivative of the Saab 2000 regional transport turboprop aircraft.

Its features include Radar for air and marine surveillance, intelligence gathering, Border, asset, and economic zone surveillance, and control & Rescue operations.

6. Boeing 737 

Top 10 AWACS (AEW&C) Aircraft In The World.
Boeing 737

Airborne early warning and control aircraft, the Boeing 737 AEW&C, features two engines. It uses a fixed, electronically scanned radar antenna instead of a rotatable one and weighs less than the Boeing E-3 Sentry based on the 707.

Its official designation is E-7A Wedgetail, and it was developed for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as part of “Project Wedgetail.” The Turkish Air Force and the Republic of Korea Air Force have decided to purchase the 737 AEW&C, which has also been proposed to the Air Forces of Italy and the United Arab Emirates.

7. Shaanxi Y-8 

Top 10 AWACS (AEW&C) Aircraft In The World.
Shaanxi Y-8

In order to fulfill the needs of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, the Shaanxi Aircraft Company in China developed and produced the Shaanxi Y-8, a medium-sized, medium-range transport aircraft. The Y-8 is among China’s largest transport planes, and it’s based on the Antonov An-12.

The Y-8 has dual purposes in the military and commercial sectors. It can ferry troops, drop off supplies, and even serve as an air ambulance. The plane can fly in every climate, take off, land on grass, snow, or mud, and continue its journey without any problems.


8.Westland Sea King/Sikorsky S-61

Top 10 AWACS (AEW&C) Aircraft In The World.
Sikorsky S-61

The Sikorsky S-61B took over for Wessex as an anti-submarine plane. Westland got the license to make the S-61B in 1959. The British Navy needed a new power plant with better electronics and more flexible mission profiles than the one they were using.

Baggers, which stand for Sea King Mk7 Airborne Surveillance and Control, are the Navy’s “eyes in the sky.” They are always looking for possible threats to the Fleet’s air defenses or suspicious activity on the ground to help ground forces.

The Search Water 2000 radar looks like a big bag, but it is a state-of-the-art system that can accurately pinpoint ground and air threats.

As the war in southern Iraq in 2003 showed in a very bad way, if enemy units are found, the helicopter’s observers can tell allied air, sea, or ground forces where to go to stop them.

9. Elta Systems CAEW

Top 10 AWACS (AEW&C) Aircraft In The World.
Elta Systems CAEW

Elta Systems, a division of Israel Aerospace Industries, has upgraded six Gulfstream G550 business jets to the extensively modified AEW (CAEW) standard, allowing them to be used by the governments of Israel and Singapore. Italy is also obligated to take in a pair.

The IAI Falcon System is still relatively uncommon despite incorporating the AEW&C mission kit onto the Boeing 707 platform. Israel’s Air Force and Chile’s Air Force both fly lone examples.

10. Boeing E-767 

Top 10 AWACS (AEW&C) Aircraft In The World.
Boeing E-767

The Boeing E-767 is designed to keep an eye on things from the air as an AWACS plane. It is essentially the surveillance radar and air control system from the Boeing E-3 Sentry retrofitted onto a Boeing 767-200 to meet the needs of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

The Boeing 767-27C is the basis for the E-767. (The “7C” designation is Boeing’s client code for the JASDF). More than twice as much volume can be found in the 767 airframes compared to the 707 on which the E-3 is built.

The mission electronics equipment is installed in the forward cabin to counterbalance the rotodome, which is positioned above the aft fuselage. The crew can use the restroom, kitchen, and bathroom facilities in the cabin’s rear.


In conclusion, the article provides an overview of radar technology and its applications, particularly in the context of airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems. It lists the top 10 AEW&C aircraft in the world, highlighting their capabilities and the countries that operate them.

These aircraft play a crucial role in surveillance, target detection, and tracking, providing a bird’s-eye view of the environment and supporting ground forces with real-time information. With technological advancements, these aircraft continue to evolve, enhancing their ability to monitor airspace and maritime activities, ensuring safety and security in various operational scenarios.


Q1: What is AWACS (AEW&C), and why is it important?

A1: AWACS stands for Airborne Early Warning and Control System, and it is a crucial technology used to detect, identify, and track airborne and maritime threats. It provides a bird’s-eye view of the battlefield, allowing for effective command and control of military operations.

Q2: What are the key features of AWACS (AEW&C) aircraft?

A2: AWACS aircraft are equipped with advanced radar systems, communication equipment, and mission systems that enable them to detect and track targets over long distances. They also have the capability to direct fighter aircraft for interception or attack operations.

Q3: How do AWACS (AEW&C) aircraft contribute to national security?

A3: AWACS aircraft provide real-time surveillance and situational awareness, allowing military forces to respond quickly to threats and coordinate complex operations. They play a vital role in protecting airspace, maritime borders, and national territories.

Q4: What are some of the top AWACS (AEW&C) aircraft in the world?

A4: Some of the top AWACS aircraft include the Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye, Boeing E-3 Sentry, Ilyushin Il-76/Beriev A-50, Kamov Ka-31, Saab Erieye, Boeing 737 AEW&C, Shaanxi Y-8, Westland Sea King/Sikorsky S-61, Elta Systems CAEW, and Boeing E-767.

Q5: Which countries operate these top AWACS (AEW&C) aircraft?

A5: These top AWACS aircraft are operated by various countries, including the United States, France, Egypt, Japan, Taiwan, India, China, Russia, Australia, Turkey, South Korea, Singapore, and Israel, among others.

Q6: How do AWACS (AEW&C) aircraft contribute to joint military operations?

A6: AWACS aircraft serve as command and control platforms that can coordinate the activities of multiple military units, including ground forces, naval forces, and air forces. They facilitate effective communication, surveillance, and decision-making in joint military operations.