The latest E-3 Sentry version has made its first deployment to a conflict zone.
A Block 40/45 E-3G arrived in Southwest Asia on November 18, according to an Air Force announcement. The upgraded AWACS features improved communications, computer processing power, threat tracking and other enhancements to the 1970s-era systems on the aircraft.
"The new modifications also automate previously manual functions and improve the amount of data E-3 aircrews can receive and share with allied forces on missions such as counterdrug surveillance," the Air Force said.
E-3Gs had previously flown counter-drug and homeland security missions, before deploying to Southwest Asia.