NATO recently expanded its joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability with the help of Northrop Grumman and its industry partners.
Together they recently unveiled the first NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance aircraft in Palmdale, California, according to a news release. The wide area surveillance Global Hawk unmanned aircraft is part of a broader system of systems solution designed to advance the Alliance’s ISR needs during various missions. These missions include protecting ground troops and civilian populations, humanitarian assistance during natural disasters, crisis management, border control and maritime safety, and the fight against terrorism.
“This marks a significant step forward in achieving NATO’s goal of acquiring NATO-owned and operated AGS Core Capability,” said Erling Wang, chairman of the NATO AGS Management Organization (NAGSMO), according to the release. “What you see here today is the result of one of the commitments made at the 2012 NATO Summit – to bring this advanced and critical persistent ISR capability to the Alliance to help ensure we can continue to address the range of challenges our member and other allied nations face.”
This is a NATO-owned and operated program made up of five air vehicles and fixed, mobile and transportable ground stations, according to the release. Northrop Grumman’s primary industrial team includes Airbus Defence and Space (Germany), Selex ES (Italy) and Kongsberg (Norway), as well as leading defense companies from all 15 participating countries. All 28 Alliance nations will take part in the long-term support of the program.
“The level of collaboration required to bring together successfully so many international partners in the development of this tremendous system of systems capability for NATO speaks to the commitment and strength of the trans-Atlantic relationships we have built with our key partners, to deliver what is truly a European program,” said Janis Pamiljans, sector vice president and general manager, unmanned systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, according to the release.
The Global Hawk has the ability to fly for up to 30 hours at a time and to reach high altitudes, giving it the ability to provide NATO leaders with persistent global situational awareness, according to the release.
The aircraft comes equipped with advanced technology, such as the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor, according to the release. This sensor provides critical data to commanders during operations, no matter the weather or time of day. The system also has the ability to fuse sensor data, continuously detect and track moving objects and provide detailed imagery.
For more information visit northropgrumman.com.