Intelligence: AWACS And The Pirates


December 21, 2009: NATO is considering sending one of its 17 E-3 AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control) aircraft to join the anti-piracy patrol off Somalia. The E-3 can also scan the ocean, more than a hundred kilometers away, for ships. What the international naval patrol needs is more information about where the pirates are at sea, so that the pirates can be scared away. Currently, the anti-piracy patrol, with a few exceptions, does not attack the pirates, even if the pirates are caught attacking a merchant ship. But the presence of warships, or a military helicopter, usually causes the pirates to abort their attacks. The anti-piracy patrol also refrains from even capturing pirates, because few Western nations have laws for prosecuting piracy. All this would not be a problem if the pirate bases in Somalia were attacked, but no one is willing to do that, and be condemned for causing civilian casualties. So having an AWACS is seen as a useful aid to what the anti-piracy patrol can do; confront and scare away pirates about to board and capture merchant ships.



Article Archive

Intelligence: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close