IS GERMAN PARTICIPATION IN AGS KEY TO FINAL DECISION ON NATO AGS?
09 Dec 03. Northrop Grumman and Raytheon gave BATTLESPACE Editor, Julian Nettlefold, briefings with regard to their contributions to the Study Paper into the proposed technology solution for NATO AGS during the Dubai Air Show. Raytheon’s Bob Bushnell told BATTLESPACE that the date for submission had slipped from November 21st due to export regulations for the TCAR radar. The U.S. required additional nations to be added to the TCAR team for information sharing. It is envisaged that once the prime contractor is announced that that contractor will manage TCAR Ltd, a new company including all the existing TCAR partners. Any sale of TCAR radars outside the existing partners would be the responsibility of TCAR Ltd. Details of Northrop’s TIPS team and the Raytheon CTAS teams were given in our latest BATTLESPACE C4ISTAR TECHNOLOGIES Vol. 6 – Issue 6, December 2003).
Bob Smith of the Northrop Grumman expanded on the problem of export regulations for UAVs, “The Missile Technology Control Regime was created to stop the proliferation of cruise missiles throughout the world. Seven nations signed the contract including, The USA, UK, Germany, Japan and Australia, establishing a freeflow of information on the products and deployment, CAT 1 includes recce systems which can accurately carry 500kgs across 30kms. Exports of CAT 1 systems are denied and Global Hawk came under this category in the early stages of the system’s development. In 2000 a new policy was created by these nations and NATO which removed this presumption and we were able to commence our trials in Australia. However sales of such systems to the Middle east can only take place with the export of ‘green’ airframes with the customer installing the systems under a restricted technology transfer agreement.”
Smith continued, “After NATO turned down the U.S. offer of a JSTARS fleet to augment the existing AWACS fleet on technology transfer grounds (they required European technology in the solution), a German study suggested that a ‘UAV-only’ solution was the way forward for AGS. Germany had studied the Global hawk Vs Predator solution and chose Global Hawk for its naval SIGINT solution. Having accepted the mixed fleet solution Germany agreed to a joint development of the Euro Hawk for an IMINT application with the TCAR radar. In addition Germany would supply its SIGINT Euro Hawks to complement the NATO HALE UAVs if they were the same platform. Raytheon asked if they could offer the Global hawk for its CTAS HALE solution and we declined”
When asked what the NATO’s requirement for a Battle Management Capability for AGS was, both Bob Bushnell and Dave Nagy said that the S.H.A.P.E. requirement was to include this in the solution but did not insist on where this would be placed. Both teams have differing views on this subject, Nagy told BATTLESPACE that in his view it was vital to have command and control in the air as, “The ISR element of the battle is the first on the scene. As we learnt with JSTARS in Iraq (See BATTLESPACE sees JSTARS below), the system deployed as a self-contained unit with its Ground Stations. The Battle management and Command and Control was conducted from one source on-board the aircraft and transferred to the Air Operations Centre (AOC). If the AOC came out of contact through weather, datalink disruption or no satellite contact then the mission can be controlled autonomously from the aircraft as we did in the Gulf.”
Bushnell disagreed and told BATTLESPACE that, “Command and Control is done on the ground for NATO in our experience. Decisions are made on the ground by nations in a collaborative manner. We believe that the Global Express offers the best solution for AGS with a comprehensive and powerful networking solution bringing in all the best and most advanced elements of Raytheon’s experience in ground sensor, networking, data link and NCW expertise. We must not forget that Raytheo