By Kalwinder Kaur
SES has recently signed an agreement with Northrop Grumman for providing satellite capacity and services for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system. AGS will work under NATO command and will be a key data source for NATO's system for Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR).
AGS meets the requirements of NATO's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in addition to handling an extensive range of missions such as crisis management, protecting ground forces, peacekeeping and enforcement, border and maritime security, natural disaster relief, counter- and anti-terrorism, and humanitarian assistance. SES’ Ku-band capacity will be supplied across the Europe and the U.S. In addition, SES will provide engineering assistance in designing and developing the system.
Northrop Grumman will supply the essential five Global Hawk air vehicles, supporting payloads and systems as part of its responsibility in being the prime contractor for the NATO AGS programme. The payloads encompass the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) radar system that can track and detect objects under motion as well as provide radar imagery of stationary objects and target locations.
During May 2012, Northrop Grumman has signed a contract worth $1.7 B (€1.2 B) with NATO and 13 other participating nations. The contract includes the procurement, initial operation and maintenance of the ground stations such as mobile and transportable units and ensuring commanders within and beyond line of sight with real-time data, intelligence and target identification. The contract also targets the air segment.