NATO is deploying surveillance planes in Lithuania to regulate Russian navy exercise close to the alliance’s borders.
The primary of two Airborne Warning and Management System (AWACS) plane will arrive within the Baltic nation on Thursday, NATO mentioned in a press launch.
Will probably be a brief mission commencing within the coming days and lasting for a number of weeks.
“Russia’s battle of aggression towards Ukraine has elevated our deal with the safety setting within the Baltic Sea area,” mentioned appearing NATO spokesperson Dylan White.
“Our AWACS can detect plane and missiles a whole bunch of kilometers away, making them a key early warning functionality for NATO. I thank Lithuania for internet hosting the plane. This is a vital contribution to our shared safety.”
NATO has a fleet of 14 Boeing E-3A AWACS plane, normally primarily based in Geilenkirchen, western Germany.
The AWACS can keep airborne for eight and a half hours at an altitude of 9,000 meters (30,000 toes) and survey an space as massive as Poland.
It might additionally enhance its endurance with air-to-air refueling.
Bolstering Jap Flank
Lithuania shares borders with the Russian enclave Kaliningrad and Moscow’s shut ally Belarus.
NATO has been bolstering its jap flank because the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.
To discourage doable Russian aggression, the alliance deployed the primary battalion-sized multinational battlegroups in 2017 in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.
Because the invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, the deployment has expanded to 4 extra jap European international locations: Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.
In complete, the alliance has promised to extend the variety of troops on excessive alert by sevenfold to greater than 300,000.
Further measures embody the deployment of manned and unmanned plane to police member airspace, together with Finland and Romania.