"Airborne Warning and Control System" is a term used for one specific system, while "airborne early warning and control" is a general term for all systems that fall under that category. In Ace Combat games, the term AWACS is the only one used, while AEW&C is never referred to.
Aircraft that utilize an AWACS use "AWACS" as a prefix to their callsign; for example, AWACS SkyEye rather than just SkyEye. However, pilots have referred to them as either just AWACS or their actual callsign, but rarely both.
AWACS generally fulfill the following purposes:
- Call out a downed aircraft, weapon fire, etc. from the player, since the player character is usually mute
- Clear the player to engage (although, wingmen will sometimes disobey orders)
- Provide information on enemy units
- Monitor superweapon attacks (usually with a countdown)
- Transmit other important battle data
- Communicate with enemy units, usually for terms of surrender
Only two aircraft are known to utilize an AWACS unit in Ace Combat games: the Boeing E-767 and the Boeing E-3 Sentry. While the E-3 is used by the United States Air Force and is likely the aircraft of choice used by AWACS Magic, the E-767 is the AWACS aircraft usually used.
List of AWACS
- The E-767 is likely the popular AWACS aircraft because Ace Combat is a Japanese video game series, where the E-767 is the AWACS unit of choice.