To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the ability of the Government to (a) fulfil its commitments to the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force, the provision of NATO Assurance Measures missions and (b) provide an adequate airborne early warning and control capability on concurrent sovereign operations.
The UK is in regular dialogue with NATO to agree our commitments to the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force and our provision of NATO Assurance Measures missions on a year-by-year basis. These targets are agreed based upon the forecast availability of both UK and NATO aircraft, and output is closely monitored throughout the period; for this year the UK is forecast to meet all of its agreed NATO Assurance Measures commitments.
Commitment of UK AEW&C capability to sovereign operations is based upon the forecast available assets and the RAF is currently able to meet its contingent commitments. The UK retains the authority to prioritise the employment of its E-3D aircraft in support of additional short-notice (contingent) sovereign operations should the need arise.