• Last updated: 08 Jan. 2014 19:35

Smart Defence

Smart Defence

Smart Defence

In these times of austerity, each euro, dollar or pound sterling counts. Smart Defence is a cooperative way of thinking about generating the modern defence capabilities that the Alliance needs for the future. In this renewed culture of cooperation, Allies are encouraged to work together to develop, acquire, operate and maintain military capabilities to undertake the Alliance’s essential core tasks agreed in NATO’s Strategic Concept. That means harmonising requirements, pooling and sharing capabilities, setting priorities and coordinating efforts better.


NATO Secretary General and Smart Defence

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Photo Galleries

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    • Smart Defence - AWACS 03 Apr. 2011 NATO operates a fleet of E-3 Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft, which provide the Alliance with an immediately available airborne command and control capability, air and maritime surveillance and battlespace management functions. NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany, is home to 17 Boeing E-3A aircraft.
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    • Smart Defence - AWACS The NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force (NAEW&CF) is one of the military assets that is owned and operated by NATO. To date, it is the Alliance's largest common-funded project and is an example of what NATO member countries can achieve by pooling resources and working together in a multinational environment.
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    • Smart Defence - AWACS 15 Nov. 2010 The AWACS play a unique and valuable role for the Alliance by conducting a broad range of missions. Its principal role is air surveillance. In recent years, AWACS increasingly have been deployed on complex and tactical missions, including air-to-air, air-to-sea and air-to-ground control, airspace management, air policing, combat search and rescue and threat warning.
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    • Smart Defence - AWACS 22 Aug. 2010 AWACS have been called on to support a wide range of operations and missions such as after the terror attacks of 11 September 2001 when AWACS were deployed to the US, in Afghanistan (in support of ISAF), in the Mediterranean in support of NATO's maritime counter-terrorism operation and in Libya (Operation Unified Protector).
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    • Smart Defence - AWACS 01 Apr. 2011 AWACS provide also security support to important events like NATO Summits, head of state visits throughout Europe, 2006 world-cup soccer championship in Germany and 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece.
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    • Smart Defence - AWACS 07 Apr. 2005 This aircraft can fly over 10 hours without refueling at 30,000 feet (9,150 metres). At this altitude, a single E-3A can continuously survey the airspace within a radius of 400 kilometres and exchange information with ground- and sea-based commanders. The antennas for the radar systems are found in the rotodome that is carried atop the AWACS. This structure rotates every ten seconds, providing 360-degree surveillance coverage.
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    • Smart Defence - AWACS 08 Oct. 2004 Thirty multinational aircrews from 16 of NATO's 28 nations are assigned to the Component's three operational E-3A squadrons and one Trainer and Cargo Aircraft squadron.
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    • Smart Defence - C17 27 Jul. 2009 The C-17 Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), based in Hungary, is a multinational initiative delivering a vital capability to the Alliance. It allows the ten participating NATO Allies and two partner nations to collectively own assets that would be prohibitively expensive to purchase individually.
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    • Smart Defence - C17 The multinational Strategic Airlift Capability Program was launched in 2008 in order to acquire three C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes, to meet the strategic airlift requirements of the participating nations. The SAC C-17 aircraft can be made available through the SAC nations for NATO, EU, UN missions, and for other international purposes.
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    • Smart Defence - C17 26 Jul. 2009 Twelve nations participate in the Strategic Airlift Capability. They include ten NATO nations (Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Romania and the United States), and two partner countries (Finland and Sweden).
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    • Smart Defence - C17 27 Jan. 2010 These twelve nations have pooled resources and shared capital investment in order to acquire, manage and jointly operate a fleet of three Boeing manufactured C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. The Main Operating Base for the Strategic Airlift Capability is located in Pápa, Hungary.
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    • Smart Defence - C17 19 Jan. 2010 Since the arrival of the first aircraft at Papa Air Base, in July 2009, the SAC Heavy Airlift Wing has flown over 5,000 flight hours and delivered more than 25,000 tons of cargo, as well as nearly 13,000 passengers for the nations, and this to six continents. SAC achievements to date include missions in support of ISAF and KFOR operations, for humanitarian relief activities in Haiti and Pakistan, and for peacekeeping efforts in Africa.
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    • Smart Defence - C17 07 Jan. 2010 With a payload of 170,000 pounds, the C-17 can take off from a 7,600-foot airfield, fly 2,400 nautical miles, and land on a small, austere airfield in 3,000 feet or less. The C-17 is equipped with an externally blown flap system that allows a steep, low-speed final approach and low-landing speeds for routine short-field landings.
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    • Smart Defence - C17 24 Sep. 2010 Through the use of advanced digital avionics and a state of the art cargo system, a standard crew of two pilots and one loadmaster can safely operate the C-17.
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    • Smart Defence - C17 16 Sep. 2011 In the cargo compartment, the C-17 can carry wheeled military vehicles in two side-by-side rows.
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    • Smart Defence - C17 30 Sep. 2010 The NATO Airlift Management Agency (NAMA) is responsible for the acquisition and full life cycle management sustainment of the Strategic Airlift Capability C-17 aircraft and related assets.

Official Texts



NATO Review

    • Smart Defence 04 Apr. 2012

      Smart Defence is 'learning by doing'. But, with budgets down and risks up, the learning has to start soon. NATO Review looks into what this could mean for everyone.

    • Smart Defence - the political angle 04 Apr. 2012

      How does NATO's top brass see the Smart Defence project? How much do they see the difficulties, opportunities and importance of it? NATO Review asked NATO's Deputy Secretary General - and Smart Defence envoy - Ambassador Alexander Vershbow to find out.

    • Smart Defence - the parliamentary angle 04 Apr. 2012

      Smart Defence will suffer if it doesn't get the national parliaments to sign up to it. So how is the project seen in these nations? NATO Review asked NATO Parliamentary Assembly Secretary General David Hobbs for his view.

    • Smart Defence: what does it mean? 30 Mar. 2012

      When it comes to explaining Smart Defence, there's probably nobody more qualified than Ludwig Decamps. He heads up NATO's Smart Defence team. Here NATO Review quizzes him on what the project means, how it could work and why it's important.

    • Smart Defence: the economic angle 30 Mar. 2012

      Smart Defence is not all about the economy. But the economic crisis has certainly played its part. How does the economic landscape look now. And what effect could this have on the development of Smart Defence. NATO Review asks NATO's Senior Defence Economist for his insights.

    • Smart Defence for Greece and Turkey? 30 Mar. 2012

      How easy would it be for two very different neighbours to engage in Smart Defence? One has economic problems while the other has growing influence in the region. Greek and Turkish analysts look at how and if this could work?

    • Smart Defence: the analyst's view 30 Mar. 2012

      How do those outside see Smart Defence? And do they see it working? Dr Bastian Giegerich of the International Institute for Security Studies has already written a brief paper analysing Smart Defence. Here NATO Review asks him about the main points.

    • From finance to defence 22 Jul. 2009

      From finance to defence: how did the financial crisis arrive - and where will it lead? NATO's Senior Economist Adrian Kendry gives a guided tour of the the paths linking the crisis with security.

    • Security and the effects of budgetary constraints 05 Jan. 2011

      There has been little economic good news of late. Budgetary pressures are growing across NATO ’s 28 member nations. But, as NATO governments and parliaments contemplate savings, they should keep in mind the fundamentals of our free market economy; the importance of sharing the security burden within NATO; and the many possibilities for spending smarter, including by bringing NATO and the EU closer together.

    • Safety in numbers - NATO and its partners 14 Apr. 2011

      Are NATO's partnerships becoming more or less important? Are they a cheaper way of offering security? And are they the key to a comprehensive approach to security? This video looks at how NATO's relationships are changing, why and who's benefiting.

    • What does it mean for the military 03 Mar. 2010

      How will the timing of this new Strategic Concept affect the outcome? Will it be able to deal with threats for decades to come? How will it change the way international organizations work together? And what will its changes mean for the men and women in uniform? All of these questions come under scrutiny in this section.

    • Uniforms are getting greener 15 Jun. 2011

      Green issues are no longer the preserve of hippies and tree huggers. The military knows just how important they are. The BBC's environment correspondent, David Shukman, recounts how climate has become part of defence planning.

    • Smart defence - projects in the pipeline 15 Oct. 2013

      What's the next activity we can expect from Smart Defence? What difference will real projects make? Here we outline eight projects which are coming online soon and highlight the potential benefits.

    • How to airlift armed forces 15 Oct. 2013

      NATO is redeploying vast amounts of equipment from Afghanistan, some of it by air. This infographic shows how some countries have used the Ruslan plane to help - and why it is so important.

    • Modern defence: better smart than sexy? 15 Oct. 2013

      A huge array of equipment that has flowed into Afghanistan over more than a decade must now leave in more or less 12 months. This means calling in some specialist kit to get the job done, including massive air transport planes. NATO Review looks at how several countries have worked together to share this kit, saving money and time.

    • Helicopters - and why they’re important 15 Oct. 2013

      Despite often being expensive, high maintenance and tricky to operate, armed forces know they need helicopters. Whether it’s getting troops in, or the wounded out, helicopters are often the ‘go to’ choice. NATO Review looks at nations’ ongoing need for helicopters – and how they’re making it easier to use them together.

    • Smart Defence - in action 22 Oct. 2013

      There's been a lot of talk about Smart Defence. Talk about how it is needed to plug gaps, save money and adapt to the economic crisis. This edition of NATO Review aims to go beyond the talk - and show some action. Smart Defence in action - the savings it makes, the collaboration it brings and the mindsets it tackles - may be the best advert for more of the same.