|Updated: 28-Apr-2005||NATO Speeches|
28 Apr. 2005
by the Deputy Secretary General at the AGS Study Contract Signing Ceremony
It is a great pleasure for me to join you here today to mark this important milestone in the life of the Alliance Ground Surveillance programme
AGS, as it is known, has been a long-standing requirement for our Alliance. When finally fielded, around 2010, it will provide our military forces a greatly needed stand-off airborne ground surveillance capability, much as the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control currently provides us with an air surveillance capability today.
The output of this over 20 million euro study effort will provide participating NATO nations with answers to key questions regarding issues, among others, like interoperability; command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and integration of the Transatlantic Co-operative AGS Radar - TCAR sensor onto the AGS manned and unmanned platforms.
With those answers, by the end of this year, we should be ready to move into the more challenging almost half billion euro Design and Development phase
At a total cost, estimated to be in the order of 4 billion euros, AGS is the largest acquisition programme in NATO’s history.
I welcome our AGS industrial partners and the National Armaments Directors who have joined us this morning. And I offer a special welcome to General Kujat, the Chairman of the Military Committee and a long time, ardent supporter of AGS. Of course I would like also to welcome the ladies and gentlemen of the press, who will help us record today’s event.
As we do this, I extend my congratulations to the Chairman of the CNAD and our Assistant Secretary General, Mr Marshall Billingslea. I also extend our appreciation to the Chairman of the AGS Steering Committee – Major General Alberto Notari and Major General Lars Fynbo - the AGS Support Staff Team Leader, as well as their supporting staffs, for their invaluable contributions to this effort.
Could I now call on Mr Alan Doshier, Senior Vice President of Northrop Gumman Integrated Systems and Mr Dag Wilhemsen, General Manager of NATO Command, Control and Consultation Agency, to sign the AGS study contract. Mr Tom Enders, Vice President of European Aeronautical Defence and Space, Defence and Security Systems will join me in witnessing their signatures.
[After the signatures]
With these signatures, the Transatlantic Industrial Proposed Solution or TIPS consortium enters into a legally binding contract with NATO to provide the information nations will need to make their decisions on entering into the much more substantial Design and Development phase, the end of this year or the beginning of the next.
For those who have followed AGS over the years, this crucial first contract moves us one step closer to realizing a capability, which will make a significant contribution to our Alliance in general and the new NATO Response Force in particular.
I wish you all the very best in this and future phases, as we move down the road towards fielding a NATO-owned and operated AGS capability for NATO.