Alliance to award integration contract to ensure member nations’ systems will work together in any combination
Having decided against buying its own missile defence system, NATO is to create an integration testbed to ensure the anti-missile radars and interceptors owned by its member nations will work together in any operation.
Industry teams led by Boeing, Northrop Grumman and SAIC expect an invitation for bids in early May, leading to the award in September of a €100 million ($118 million), three- to four-year contract to provide the system engineering and integration required to ensure that NATO members’ anti-missile systems can work together in any combination.
“NATO has said it will not buy sensors or shooters. Instead, in a conflict or contingency, it wants to knit together the sensors and shooters of its member nations,” says Mitch Kugler, director of strategic initiatives for Boeing’s missile defence programmes. “They want to make sure, when they show up for an operation, that the various sensors and shooters work together in a NATO way.”
The USA, meanwhile, is continuing to look at extending its Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system into Europe. There are now nine interceptors in silos at Ft Greely, Alaska and two at Vandenberg AFB, California, with a total of 16 planned by December and 20 to be installed in Alaska by the end of 2007.
Missile-defence radars are operational in Alaska and at Beale AFB, California, providing coverage of North Korea, and the upgraded Flyingdales early-warning radar in the UK will become part of the GMD system by year-end, covering Middle East threats.
GRAHAM WARWICK / WASHINGTON DC
Source: Flight International