First NATO AGS aircraft arrives in Italy
The first NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) aircraft has arrived in Italy where it will be based at the AGS Main Operating Base.
The AGS programme is being developed with contributions from 15 nations, including Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the US.
The AGS programme will include five NATO RQ-4D RPAS, which will provide a collectively owned capability for NATO operations and missions. All Allies will have access to data acquired by AGS, and will benefit from the intelligence derived from the surveillance and reconnaissance missions that AGS will undertake.
The RQ-4D is based on the US Air Force block 40 Global Hawk. Along with ground elements, it has been designed to meet NATO’s ISR requirements.
All five RPAS are currently in different stages of developmental testing. Once each of the aircraft arrives at the Main Operating Base in Sigonella, a verification phase will start, in order to ensure full compliance of the system.
The entire AGS system will be handed over to the NATO AGS Force once it has completed all its testing and performance verification. Initial operational capability is expected for the first half of 2020.
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