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Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS)

The Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system consists of air, ground and support segments, performing all-weather, persistent wide-area terrestrial and maritime surveillance in near real-time. A group of 15 Allies is acquiring the AGS system comprised of five NATO RQ-4D remotely piloted aircraft and the associated European-sourced ground command and control stations. NATO will then operate and maintain them on behalf of all NATO Allies.

The AGS aircraft is based on the US Air Force Block 40 Global Hawk. It has been uniquely adapted to NATO requirements to provide a state-of-the-art Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability to NATO.AGS will be able to contribute to a range of missions such as protection of ground troops and civilian populations, border control and maritime safety, the fight against terrorism, crisis management and humanitarian assistance in natural disasters..

The 15 NATO Allies involved in the AGS acquisition are: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States.

The AGS Core System Capability

The Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Core System, acquired by NATO, will enable the Alliance to perform persistent surveillance over wide areas from high-altitude, long-endurance, Remotely Piloted Aircraft System operating at considerable stand-off distances and in varied weather and light conditions. Using advanced radar sensors, these systems will continuously detect and track moving objects throughout observed areas and will provide radar imagery of areas of interest and stationary objects. The deployable and fixed ground stations will provide the capability of Moving Target Indicator tracking and Imagery Intelligence exploitation services as a key contribution to NATO's Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) capability. This asset will contribute to a wide range of missions such as the protection of ground troops and civilian populations, border control and maritime safety, fight against terrorism, crisis management and humanitarian assistance.

NSPA's role

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has an essential role in the sustainment of the system as the Life Cycle Manager of the NATO AGS assets, both at its Main Operating Base in Sigonella (Italy) and in case of deployment. This responsibility includes the sustainment of the delivered system, as well as managing and implementing any system upgrades, engineering changes and ensuring compliance with aeronautical regulations in order to keep the system safe for flight.

The AGS Life Cycle Management framework includes the NSPA AGS Programme Office working in support of the NATO AGS Force (NAGSF) under 29 NATO nation governance that includes system ownership responsibilities as well as the required airworthiness oversight with the Host Nation Italy.

The Agency responsibility covers all spectrum of activities aimed at optimising NATO AGS defence capabilities taking into account performance, costs, schedule, quality, operational environments, integrated logistic support and obsolescence over the life cycle of the system.

One particular facet of this support is related to Supply Management & Automation.

Contact AGS and UAS Programme Office


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