Home  /  Newsroom  /  News  /  News 2021  /  NSPA develops first NATO AGS Virtual Reality Training

Mar 12 2021

NSPA develops first NATO AGS Virtual Reality Training

LUXEMBOURG – During the first week of March 2021, the NATO AGS Force (NAGSF) completed its first "Virtual Reality Maintenance Training Demonstration" at the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Main Operating Base in Sigonella, Italy. This Demo session was specially designed to address some AGS UAV Maintenance Basic Type Training activities, to show the Force the possibility to conduct practical application maintenance tasks without the need of physical assets or materiel on site.

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), as AGS Life Cycle Manager, engaged with its industry partner, Northrop Grumman, to test at Sigonella MOB the preliminary development of Virtual and Augmented Reality training modules. The training demonstration session was successfully conducted using the latest technology, such as interactive hand paddles and mixed reality smart glasses.

Following this first demonstration, the training scope might be expanded to include more complex modules, such as the replacement of the engine assembly. In addition, NSPA is preparing a new version of its Interactive Electronic Manual Viewing software to eventually enable its integration with the virtual reality environment and ensure a seamless transition between virtual views and the official technical documentation. This is the next step towards providing the NAGSF with an embedded training capability that will further benefit NATO Nations with economies of scale for years to come.

NASGF Officers during virtual training demonstration. Photos by Dion Houston (US Army).


The NATO's AGS system comprises five NATO RQ-4D Phoenix remotely piloted aircraft and the associated European-sourced ground command and control stations and is procured by the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency (NAGSMA) on behalf of 15 Allies. Handover of the entire AGS system to NSPO and the NATO AGS Force commenced in December 2020 and will be completed in the next few months. Following the handover of the assets, NSPA is transitioning to its role as the life cycle manager of the AGS Core System, providing full logistics support and system engineering to keep the AGS system operationally relevant for the benefit of the 30 Allies.

Story by NATO Support and Procurement Agency

Find us on