RAMSTEIN, Germany- NATO is shielded from airborne threats by an integrated system of radars, ships, fighter jets and anti-air missiles. But how does this system work?
As a defensive alliance, NATO needs to safeguard Allies against threats from the air.
Every day, Allied citizens are protected from airborne threats by an integrated network of sensors, missile defence systems and fighter jets. Collectively, they’re known as the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (IAMD). But how does this system work?
This video includes animated sequences that are not necessarily representative of actual military hardware, technologies or capabilities. Video made by NATO
Threats from the air are first detected by an array of sensors deployed by Allies. Based on land, at sea, in the air and even in space, these are capable of detecting aircraft or missile launches minutes after they occur. They feed the data to NATO command posts, such as the Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs) in Uedem, Germany and Torrejon, Spain. Commanders can then determine the best way to deal with the threat.
The task might fall to long-range, high-altitude missile defence systems like the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), or the short-to-medium range French Sol-Air Moyenne Portée/Terrestre (SAMP/T). NATO can also use missile defence warships or fighter jets to deal with the threat.
In recent years, the Alliance has had to contend with new threats such as unmanned vehicles and hypersonic missiles. NATO is hard at work on tactics and technology to counter these problems.