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NATO’s ACCS will take important steps forward over the next twelve months as the Alliance ramps up the roll out of its scalable air operations command and control system which will replace a brace of disparate national integrated air defence systems, and air operations command and control systems, in service across the Alliance’s continental European membership.

Raytheon, together with Thales, is the prime contractor for the ACCS initiative which provides the Alliance with a scalable hardware and software architecture which can be used for the command and control of air operations from air policing/air sovereignty tasks up to high intensity war fighting. Essentially, the ACCS initiative provides both deployable and fixed configurations of Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs) used for air operations management and its ARS (Air Control Centre, Recognised Air Picture Production Centre and Sensor Fusion Post) which can perform the air sovereignty/air policing tasks synonymous with Control and Reporting Centres.

Raytheon told MONS that, while one ARS is already operational at the Aeronautica Militaire (Italian Air Force) Poggio Renatico airbase in northeast Italy, additional ARSs at the Armeé de l’Air’s (French Air Force) Lyon-Mont Verdun airbase in eastern France, and the Belgian Air Component’s Glons airbase in eastern Belgium will become operational towards the end of this year, and the beginning of 2018. Following these milestones, eleven additional ARS sites are then expected to be declared operational over the next five years. The company continued that testing at these additional sites is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, with the sites then transitioning to operational service.

– Thomas Withington, London

NATO is rolling out its ACCS architecture across several sites in continental Europe over the next five years. (NATO)

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