Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4D PHOENIX GLOBAL HAWK has recently enabled NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Force delare initial operating capability, giving NATO commanders the ability to perform uninterrupted in-theatre operations 24/7/365. The RQ-4D variant provides cutting-edge ISR in support of global security.

NATO AGS will help the Alliance with persistent regional defense and deterrence,” commented Jane Bishop, VP/GM, Autonomous Systems. “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, with companies from across NATO member nations, including Leonardo, Airbus and Kongsberg, joining 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 (HALE) capability delivers sustained, uninterrupted in-theatre operations, providing an unprecedented amount of ISR data to the Alliance. With the state-of-the-art main operating base at Sigonella, in Italy, data can be rapidly disseminated to allied forces, providing an unmatched advantage.

Northrop Grumman’s family of autonomous HALE systems, including GLOBAL HAWK, is a critical component of networked, global ISR collection for allied nations and mutual defence organizations around the world. The systems ISR data that enables decision-makers to act with the right information at the right time.

NATO’s first operational UAS unit is providing increased security and persistent regional deterrence. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

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