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NATO first operational UAS flying unit is providing increased security for the Alliance


Northrop Grumman Corporation’s RQ-4D Phoenix Global Hawk has recently enabled NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Force to achieve a declaration of initial operating capability (IOC) from Supreme Allied Commander Europe, giving NATO commanders the ability to perform uninterrupted in-theater operations 24/7/365. The RQ-4D Phoenix Global Hawk variant provides cutting-edge intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) in support of global security.

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NATO first operational UAS flying unit is providing increased security for the Alliance NATO AGS RQ-4D Phoenix Global Hawk (Picture source: Northrop Grumman)


“NATO AGS will help the Alliance with persistent regional defense and deterrence,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager, autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman. “The commitment of the entire AGS team partnership – both government and industry – has shown incredible dedication, working across cultures, time zones and languages, all aiming toward one goal – providing the Alliance with this critical capability.”

The NATO AGS system is comprised of five aircraft, ground and support segments, along with advanced sensor technologies. The Phoenix aircraft has met the rigorous standards required for the first large unmanned aerial vehicle – military type certification and approved by the Italian Directorate of Aeronautical Armaments and Airworthiness (DAAA). Companies from across NATO member nations, including Leonardo, Airbus and Kongsberg, comprise the Northrop Grumman-led industry team that developed the NATO AGS capability.

The wide area surveillance of the RQ-4D Global Hawk and the fixed, mobile and transportable ground stations will support a full range of missions, including protection of ground troops and civilian populations, border control, crisis management and humanitarian assistance in natural disasters. The platform’s high-altitude, long-endurance capability delivers sustained, uninterrupted in-theater operations providing an unprecedented amount of ISR data to the Alliance. With the state-of-the-art main operating base at the Italian Air Base, Sigonella, Italy, data can be rapidly disseminated to allied forces, providing an unmatched advantage.