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November 9, 2021updated 10 Nov 2021 4:15am

Airbus, Northrop lead industrial partnership to bid for NATO AFSC studies

ASPAARO partnership will bid for risk reduction and feasibility studies for NSPA’s AFSC programme.

Airbus and Northrop Grumman are leading an industrial partnership formed to submit a bid to carry out studies supporting the development of Nato’s Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) replacement.

The two companies have formed the Atlantic Strategic Partnership for Advanced All-domain Resilient Operations (ASPAARO).

BAE Systems, Exence, GMV, IBM, Kongsberg, Lockheed Martin, and MDA are part of ASPAARO.

The partnership seeks to perform the risk reduction and feasibility studies (RRFS) for the Nato Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA).

According to the companies, RRFS will be conducted as part of the Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) programme.

Airbus Defence and Space CEO Michael Schöllhorn said: “Cutting-edge surveillance and control systems are at the heart of ensuring Nato’s continued operational success to which we are fully committed to.

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“We feel privileged to support this strategic programme for Nato by leveraging our experience and capabilities in multi-domain operations, surveillance and intelligence.

“With this transatlantic teaming, we are offering our commitment to provide the Atlantic Alliance with the most powerful technological solutions to ensure it stays ahead of the curve in tomorrow’s multi-domain-driven theatres of operation.”

The contract for the studies is expected to be awarded next year.

The AFSC feasibility studies will contribute to the alliance’s future tactical surveillance, command and control capabilities’ development effort.

The existing AWACS fleet will reach its end of service life in 2035.

Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems president Tom Jones said: “ASPAARO brings together the best industrial capabilities across the Nato community to address increasingly vital surveillance and command and control needs.

“In a rapidly evolving threat environment Nato needs the strategic advantage that advanced surveillance and control provides; ASPAARO is committed to delivering those unmatched capabilities to the Nato AFSC programme.”

In August last year, a Nato E-3A Sentry AWACS aircraft participated in exercise Aviation Detachment Rotation 20-4.

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