NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS)

Collective Defence for the 21st Century

Program Overview

After many years exploring options for a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-owned and operated Alliance Ground Surveillance capability, 13 of the 28 NATO members signed a program memorandum of understanding (PMoU) in September 2009. They agreed to fund the development phase of a program of record with an airborne segment based on the Block 40 RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which includes the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor and supporting ground elements.

In May 2012 during the NATO Summit in Chicago, Northrop Grumman signed a $1.7 billion (€1.2 billion) contract for NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system. Operating under NATO command, AGS will be the major data source for NATO's system for Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR). The trans-Atlantic, multi-national contract supports NATO's ISR requirements for multinational theater operations, peacekeeping missions, and disaster relief efforts.

With its main operating base at Sigonella, Sicily, NATO AGS will be co-located with the U.S. Air Force Global Hawks and the U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAS, further advancing synergies across the three programs in operational capability, life cycle logistics, and sustainment.

The 15 participating nations include Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States; all 28 alliance nations will participate in the long-term support of the program.

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the NATO AGS program, and builds the Global Hawk air vehicle, supporting systems and payloads, including the MP-RTIP radar. The company's primary industrial team includes EADS Deutschland GmbH (Cassidian), Selex Galileo and Kongsberg, as well as leading defense industries including ICZ, A.S., Retia, A.S., Aktors OÜ, Komerccentrs DATI grupa, Elsis LTD., Konstrukta-Defence, A.S., ComTrade D.O.O., BIANOR, Technologica, Zavod Za Telefonna Aparatura Ad (ZTA AD), SELEX ELSAG, Elettra Communications, UTI Systems, and SES.


Wingspan: 130.9 ft (39.9 m)
Length: 47.6 ft (14.5m)
Height: 15.4 ft (4.7 m)
Gross Takeoff Weight: 32,250 lbs (14,628 kg)
Maximum Altitude: 60,000 ft (18.3 km)
Payload: 3,000 lbs (1,360 kg)
Ferry Range: 12,300 nm (22,780 km)
Loiter Velocity: 310 knots TAS (True Air Speed)
On-Station Endurance at 1,200 nm: 24 hours
Maximum Endurance: 32+ hours

Related Links:

NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency (NAGSMA)
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)