NATO to deploy radar planes to Afghanistan

The aircraft will monitor growing traffic of aerial missions against Taliban.

Brussels: NATO on Thursday decided to deploy AWACS radar aircraft to Afghanistan to monitor the growing traffic of aerial missions against Taliban insurgents, the Western military alliance said.

Allies reached an agreement for the "AWACS to begin their operations in Afghanistan in mid-January," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said.

Two planes will take part in the three-month mission, she said.

An agreement in principle to deploy the Airborne Warning and Control System planes, which are fitted with long-range radar allowing them to detect other aircraft and prevent mid-air collisions, had been reached in June 2009.

But the deployment of the planes -- which act like airborne control towers -- was delayed due to difficulties in securing the right to fly over certain countries neighbouring Afghanistan.