Air and Missile Defence Committee (AMDC)

  • Last updated: 10 Jun. 2021 14:17

The Air and Missile Defence Committee (AMDC) is the senior policy committee reporting to the North Atlantic Council on NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) and NATO Air Command and Control (Air C2). It is also the lead committee for all aspects related to Joint Air Power.

Main responsibilities

The AMDC has two main focus areas: policy advice and support to capability development.

The committee is responsible for developing and updating NATO’s IAMD policy and identifying the required IAMD capabilities. This policy work also considers the broader spectrum of Joint Air Power and includes areas such as Air and Missile Defence, space, and emerging and disruptive technologies, for example hypersonic vehicles.

The AMDC is a high-level forum for considering the military operational requirements for IAMD, taking into account the political, economic, industrial and technological factors identified by Allies and other NATO bodies. Moreover, the committee is responsible for ensuring that Air and Missile Defence aspects are properly reflected in the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP).

The committee plays a key coordination role for NATO’s Air Command and Control (Air C2) and provides overall policy guidance to the Air C2 governance structure and committees. It oversees the governance of key acquisition programmes related to Air C2.

Working mechanisms

The AMDC meets in a number of formats. National experts at senior and flag officer level from Allied countries meet twice a year. Air and missile defence experts from Allied delegations at NATO Headquarters gather more frequently.

Cooperation and engagement with partner countries on IAMD issues takes place either through the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) format or individually with one or more partner countries, as topics dictate.

The committee is nominally chaired by NATO’s Deputy Secretary General. In practice, the Vice Chair, who is a senior-level (two-star) national representative, guides the work of the Committee. He or she is supported by staff from NATO’s Defence Investment Division.

As a senior committee, the AMDC reports directly to the North Atlantic Council, the Alliance’s principal political decision-making body. It is supported by the Panel on Air and Missile Defence, which develops policy advice for consideration by the AMDC to support Alliance objectives and priorities, and by the Air C2 Steering Committee, which is responsible for the governance of the Air C2 programme. The AMDC also provides oversight over the Countering Unmanned Aircraft System Working Group (C-UAS WG).

The AMDC works closely with other senior committees, most notably the Defence Policy and Planning Committee on Missile Defence. To ensure coherence and to avoid duplication of effort, a number of topics are dealt with in a joint committee format.