The mission, expected to be approved by the Western defence alliance's council today, has been under preparation for 10 months, long before the incident with Russia, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said it is not linked.

But NATO sources said the shooting down had galvanised allies to come forward with more support and tailor the assistance to help lower tensions between Moscow and Ankara by taking a role in managing Turkish airspace.

A Turkish official in Ankara said Turkey and NATO were looking to develop a system whereby problems in Turkish and NATO airspace could be avoided but it was too early to share details.

Stoltenberg said strengthening air defences for Turkey, which has long expressed alarm over the civil war raging near its border, was a commitment that went back well before the shooting down of the Russian plane.

"It's a face-saving show of allied support for Turkey while trying to get them to behave more intelligently," said Nick Witney, a former head of the European Defence Agency now at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Latest News from World News Desk