NATO AGS system at Warsaw Summit
The operational capabilities of the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system were presented to heads of state at the 2016 Warsaw NATO Summit on 8-9 July, with a focus on how the system will enhance the national security interests of member states.
The AGS system is set to go live in Italy in 2017/2018 at the Italian Air Force’s Sigonella base in Sicily, which will be the AGS Main Operating Base.
The AGS will give NATO the ability to perform extensive surveillance over wide areas. The system consists of five air segment UAS based on the Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk; with transportable ground stations.
The AGS will be fully-owned and operated by NATO and supported by the alliance nations, and will be a key enabler in the organisation's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. The system will support NATO missions such as ground troop protection, maritime operations, border control, and crisis management and disaster relief; and monitor data from national systems to detect and track ground-moving objects continuously.
The ground and air elements of the system have entered the formal test phase of the development process. The flight test programme of the aircraft is underway at the Edwards Air Force Test range, California. Preparations are also underway at the base in Sigonella, Sicily, for the arrival of the first of five aircraft later in 2016.
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