A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) E-7A Wedgetail has arrived at Ramstein Air Base in Germany for a six-month deployment to support Ukraine in its ongoing war.
The aircraft will be a part of Ukraine’s early-warning threat detection protocols to combat delays in the region’s humanitarian and military assistance.
The E-7A will integrate with allies, including the US, to provide “multi-layered protections” in Ukraine.
The RAAF plane arrived after the Australian Defence Force’s announcement in July that it would aid Ukraine by protecting a vital gateway of international humanitarian and military assistance to the country.
Staff for the aircraft includes up to 100 crew and support personnel.
Australia’s Ongoing Assistance
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese stressed Australia’s support for Ukraine during the announcement.
“We strongly support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and are providing ongoing humanitarian and military assistance,” he said.
To date, Australia has pledged aid totaling 790 million Australian dollars ($498 million) to the country, allotting 610 million ($384.7 million) in military assistance, including armored vehicles and artillery ammunition.
Safeguarding With NATO
NATO has gradually reinforced an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) program in the region to keep track of Russian military activity near the alliances’ borders.
“Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has increased our focus on the security environment in the Baltic Sea region,” NATO Acting Spokesperson Dylan White said in a statement back in September.
“Our AWACS can detect aircraft and missiles hundreds of kilometres away, making them a key early warning capability for NATO.”
NATO continues to boost its presence on its eastern flank, deploying fighter jets, surveillance planes, and infantry units to survey the area.