13 Feb. 2008

NATO reaches missile defence milestone

The opening of a special testing facility in The Hague, Netherlands, marks a major milestone for a multi-year NATO project to protect forces deployed on operations from missile attacks.

The ‘integration test bed’ will be inaugurated on 14 February by NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, Peter Flory.

The state-of-the-art facility tests the designs for NATO systems that will allow European and US missile defence technologies to work together as part of a NATO ‘theatre missile defence’ system.

Once fully implemented, the system will be used to protect forces against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. It will also complement NATO’s current capability against aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other aerial threats.

Nine months ahead of schedule

In January, nine months ahead of schedule, the facility conducted milestone tests with Dutch and US facilities in which real-life European and US systems successfully countered a simulated ballistic missile attack against NATO forces.

The test bed is the linchpin of the project,” said Peter Flory, “It allows us to determine whether we actually can get the different components to work together, and work together rapidly enough to counter one or several missile attacks.

The fact that we were able to get it connected to NATO nations for experiments nine months ahead of schedule is very good news for NATO,” he added, “This is a crucial step towards a theatre missile defence capability.

The contract for the delivery of the test bed was signed at NATO’s 2006 Riga Summit in the presence of NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

The test bed is run by NATO’s Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence Programme Office and hosted by NATO’s Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A), responsible for developing and procuring new technologies in support of NATO and its missions.

Media representatives interested in visiting the facilities should contact Mr. Philip Hyde,, tel.: +32 (0)2 707 8724, from the Programme Office or Michal Olejarnik,, tel.: + 32 475 907 040, from the NC3A.

Tel: +32 (0)2 707 50 41 - Fax: +32 (0)2 707 50 57 -