On 5 December 2019, the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) awarded six contracts for the Boeing – ABILITI Consortium* (USA), General Atomics (USA), Lockheed Martin (USA), Airbus (Germany), L3Harris Consortium* (UK), and MDA (Canada) , after a successful international bidding process, under a NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP). This is a significant step that will enable the development of high-level technical concepts for NATO’s future surveillance and control capabilities.
The AWACS fleet, NATO’s key surveillance and control asset, is planned to retire in 2035, after 50 years of service. To plan for the required follow-on capability, NATO launched the Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC), an innovative project where NATO is involving industry at a very early stage to develop new options for future NATO surveillance and control capabilities, based on future technology and requirements.
In 2017, the North Atlantic Council initiated the Concept Stage of the AFSC. The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) is responsible to conduct studies and develop technical concepts that will help inform future decisions by NATO, individual nations or multinational groups to acquire new systems.
The best value award of the current contracts is the first step in a series of concept development and assessment activities that will take place in 2020-2022 timeframe. “We are very impressed with the strong industry participation and interest shown for this visionary project and we look forward to the first concept results in the coming months”, said Mr Cagatay Soyer, AFSC Project Manager.
High-level concepts proposed by the six contractors will be assessed by NATO to identify the most promising concepts for further development and feasibility analysis in a second competition that will be announced later in 2020. * The Boeing ABILITI Consortium includes the following companies – Thales (FR), Leonardo (IT), Indra Systems (SP), and Inmarsat (UK); and the L3 Harris Technologies team includes Musketter Solutions Limited (UK), Videns Limited (UK), 3SDL Limited (UK), Synergeticon (DE), Hensoldt Sensors Gmbh (DE), IBM UK Limited (UK), and Deloitte Consulting & Advisory CVBA (BE).