16:47 GMT17 February 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - NATO plans to phase out the fleet of its iconic airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft by 2035 and use in a replacement artificial intelligence and big data technologies, Alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

    "The fleet of NATO AWACS aircraft has been our eyes in the skies, supporting our airborne operations for decades", Stoltenberg told the NATO-Industry forum in Washington. "We are planning for its replacement in 2035, which will include many of the technologies we are talking about today, such as autonomous systems, artificial intelligence and big data".

    Stoltenberg praised the AWACS contribution to patrolling the US skies after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, as well as for its role in the operations in Afghanistan and the Daesh* terror group.

    ​Stoltenberg also said that NATO members have agreed to invest at least 20 percent of their increasing military budgets in research and development and new equipment, with more than half of them already meeting that commitment.

    * Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/IS/Islamic State) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia

    NATO, Airborne early Warning and Control System (AWACS), AWACS, Jens Stoltenberg, United States
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