Photo from Directorate-General of Armaments of France
The AWACS allows the military to detect and track adversary aircraft and missiles, giving them a significant tactical advantage in combat operations. But as you would have expected, it is also notoriously difficult to shoot down.
For instance, the AWACS operates above 30,000 ft and is equipped with advanced radar and electronic warfare systems. They are also typically accompanied by a fighter escort, providing additional protection against incoming threats.
However, according to a retired AWACS pilot, the keyword is “DIFFICULT”. He continues that the aircraft is actually very vulnerable and relies on the distance it can see adversaries.
Still, one thing is for certain. Yes, the AWACS can be jammed or shot down – but that’ll only be possible if the enemy was ready to devote enough lives and resources to do it.