Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia is preparing to contribute up to 10 military aircraft to the increasingly aggressive campaign against the Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq.

Abbott said in a statement issued Sunday that Australia was responding to a formal request from the United States for specific contributions to the international coalition.

President Barack Obama announced the more aggressive military campaign last week. Scores of U.S. airstrikes have been launched at select targets in Iraq, and U.S. planes and drones will be gathering intelligence on targets before launching airstrikes in Syria.

Australia will prepare up to eight F/A18 combat aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail Early Warning and Control aircraft and a KC-30A Tanker and Transport aircraft to be deployed to the United Arab Emirates.