Northrop Grumman signed a $1.7 billion contract to provide five Block 40 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system. Operating under NATO command, AGS is expected to be the major data source for NATO's system for Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR).
Under terms of the contract, the UASs will be equipped with the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) ground surveillance radar sensor. Additionally, European industry contributors will be responsible for development and delivery of the transportable ground stations suitable for in-theatre support directly to commanders of deployed forces, mobile ground stations for close support to moving operations, and remote workstations for higher echelon commands.
"This Alliance Ground Surveillance program has been a major acquisition priority for NATO. This is an historic moment and we are honored to be bringing this vital, leading edge capability to all NATO member nations," said Otfried Wohlleben, NAGSMA Program Manager. "The real-time long-endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance that this will provide will be invaluable to NATO forces around the world and the success of their missions."
The 13 nations, including Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States, are expected to participate in the system's acquisition, and all 28 alliance nations are to participate in the long-term support of the program.
Northrop Grumman will be the prime contractor for the NATO AGS program, and build the Global Hawk air vehicle, supporting systems and payloads including the MP-RTIP radar. The company's primary industrial team from the 13 nations will include Cassidian, Selex Galileo and KONGSBERG, as well as leading European defense firms ICZ, A.S., ComTrade d.o.o, BIANOR, Technologica, Zavod Za Telefonna Aparatura Ad, SELEX ELSAG, Elettra Communications, UTI Systems and SES. The ground element, which provides real-time data, intelligence and target identification to commanders within and beyond line of sight, will be wholly produced by European industry, offering direct work in the program for the participating nations.