- a sophisticated detection aircraft, fitted with powerful radar and a computer, capable of simultaneously tracking and plotting large numbers of low-flying aircraft at much greater distances than is possible with ground radar.
Origin of AWACS
1965–70; A(irborne) W(arning) A(nd) C(ontrol) S(ystem)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for awacs
Again, the Europeans have AWACS, but not enough crews to handle an all-hours campaign lasting months.America’s Secret Libya War
August 30, 2011
The U.S., British, and French air forces each provided their own AWACS airplanes to maintain 24/7 coverage of the war theater.Libya War’s Unsung Heroes
August 22, 2011
- airborne warning and control system
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for awacs
1966, initialism for "Airborne Warning and Control Systems."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper