25 Sep 09. Northrop Grumman Corporation welcomeD the signing this week of the Program Memorandum of Understanding for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program by the 15 participating nations. This significant milestone now allows the program of record to proceed. The signing of the memorandum completes the requirements to standup the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency (NAGSMA), which is chartered to acquire the NATO-owned and operated core capability.
NATO nations previously selected Sigonella, Italy as the location for the main operating base.
Northrop Grumman, prime contractor for the NATO AGS program, is providing a system based on the Block 40 RQ-4 Global Hawk high altitude, long endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system, equipped with the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor for the airborne segment. The system’s ground segment will be developed by Northrop Grumman’s Euro-Canadian industry partners, featuring a ground station that leverages current technologies and would be available for re-use in national programs.
“This is the next in a series of significant steps necessary to move the NATO AGS program forward and realize the urgent need for this capability,” said Tom Vice, sector vice president for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems’ Battle Management & Engagement Systems business unit. “We now look forward to working with NAGSMA to bring this critical capability to NATO forces.”
According to Peter C. W. Flory, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, “NATO AGS is an essential asset to support our alliance forces in Afghanistan and across the full range of NATO operations in the future.”
Northrop Grumman leads a transatlantic industrial team representing each of the participating nations. “Our team is formed, mature, and ready to proceed with the program,” said Matt Copija, director of Northrop Grumman’s NATO AGS program. “We now look forward to working with NAGSMA with the expectation of submitting our proposal and entering negotiations to support contract award next year. These actions underscore the commitment of both the alliance nations and our industries to field this much needed capability at the earliest possible opportunity.”
The NATO AGS system will provide the alliance with an airborne ground surveillance core capability designed to meet its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requirements for the 21st century. NATO AGS will provide different levels of command with an accurate ground situation assessment to improve situational awareness and assure information superiority. The system could also support a variety of new mission requirements for NATO including crisis management, humanitarian relief and broader security concerns.