The Nato Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has received the first shipment of air-to-ground precision-guided munitions (PGMs) for an initial acquisition value of approximately $20m.
Manufactured in the US, the new munitions have been acquired by 11 Nato allies and partner Finland through a cooperation project launched in 2014, which allows the nations to acquire the PGMs in a cost-effective and flexible way.
The final deliveries are expected to be carried out for the two remaining allied countries, Belgium and Denmark, over the coming weeks.
Nato deputy secretary general Rose Gottemoeller said: “This initiative seeks to address a problem that Nato first encountered during the Libya Operation: when some allies ran out of their stockpiles of munitions, they found it incredibly difficult to use those of other airforces.
“We realised that we needed a new, flexible approach to the provision of air-to-ground precision-guided munitions. I am happy that this approach is now delivering its first results.”
The Nato cooperation initiative enables allies to use each other’s PGM stocks during air operations or in a possible crisis.
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Managed by the NSPA on behalf of the allies, the effort enables the alliance and its member countries to reduce dependence on the US for air missions.
The 11 Nato members involved in the project are Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK.
The second and third rounds of acquisition for the new munitions are currently underway.