NATO takes major step forward towards putting Eyes in the Sky
In an important decision for NATO, the Conference of National Armaments Directors today endorsed an earlier decision of the Alliance Ground Surveillance Steering Committee to move forward expeditiously towards the signing of a contract, by Spring 2005, with the Transatlantic Industrial Proposed Solution (TIPS) consortium (made up of EADS, Galileo Avionica, General Dynamics Canada, Indra, Northrop Grumman and Thales) for the Design and Development of a NATO-owned and operated AGS core, based on the solution offered by TIPS for a mix of manned and unmanned air platforms, with their interoperable ground stations.
This NATO-owned and operated core, when fielded, will be an essential enabling capability for the NATO Response Force and will provide Alliance political decision-makers and military planners with an invaluable "Eye in the Sky" with which to gather critical information on what is happening on the ground during peacetime, crisis or war. The core will be supplemented by interoperable national assets as part of a broader Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) system of system.
This major decision by Alliance nations is a significant step forward on the road towards realizing this urgently required, operationally essential capability for NATO.