Northrop Grumman will build a total of five NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance unmanned aircraft. (Northrop Grumman illustration) ()
Northrop Grumman has begun production of the first NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Block 40 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft.
The UAV, the first of five to be built, is being manufactured at the company’s Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss.
The NATO AGS system will be equipped with the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program ground surveillance radar sensor. It will also carry long-range, wideband data links for line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight transmission.
“The NATO AGS system also includes European-sourced ground assets that will provide in-theater support to commanders of deployed forces,” Northrop Grumman said in a news release. “Mobile and transportable ground stations will provide an interface between the AGS core system and a wide range of interoperable NATO and national command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.”
“The variety of sensors and ability to support a wide range of missions will revolutionize how NATO collects ISR,” said Jim Edge, general manager of the NATO AGS Management Agency. Fifteen nations are participating in the AGS program: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States.
NATO awarded the contract in 2012 to a team that includes Northrop Grumman, EADS Deustchland GmbH (Cassidian), Selex ES and Kongsberg.