CHICAGO, 21 May 2012. Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC) has signed a $1.7 billion (euro 1.2 billion) contract for NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system, a major data source for NATO's system for Joint Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (JISR). The contract provides for the purchase and initial operation and maintenance of five Block 40 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with an advanced ground surveillance radar sensor, the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP).
European industry contributors will be responsible for the development and delivery of transportable ground stations for in-theater support directly to commanders of deployed forces, mobile ground stations for close support to moving operations, and remote workstations for higher echelon commands.
Signed by the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency (NAGSMA) during the NATO 2012 Summit, the trans-Atlantic multinational contract supports NATO's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) requirements for multinational theater operations, peacekeeping missions, and disaster relief efforts.
"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," says 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."
Thirteen nations (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, while all 28 alliance nations are to participate in the long-term support of the program.
"Northrop Grumman and our entire trans-Atlantic industry team are proud to be bringing this strategic capability to NATO and its member nations," says Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer, and president, Northrop Grumman. "It was our collective goal from the start to ensure an affordable and robust capability that will meet the alliance's need for persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to ground, maritime, and air commanders, anytime and anywhere in the world. Our team is focused on meeting that commitment."
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, which is capable of detecting and tracking moving objects as well as providing radar imagery of target locations and stationary objects.
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 (ZTA 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 produced by European industry, offering direct work in the program for the participating nations.