> our title:

NATO Global Hawk UAV Completes First Flight

> original title:

NATO AGS First Flight Successfully Completed

(Source: NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency; issued Dec, 21 2015)

NATO's first Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) aircraft, built by Northrop Grumman, successfully completed its first flight on Dec. 19, 2015. (Northrop photo)

BRUSSELS --- NAGSMA General Manager, Jim Edge, and NAGSMO Chairman, Erling Wang are pleased to announce that the NATO AGS programme has completed its most significant milestone to date.

The NATO-01 test Flight (1st NATO AGS UAV) took successfully place one Saturday 19 of December.

The success of this key event in the NATO AGS program was made possible thanks to the hard work of DAAA (Directorate of Aeronautical Armaments and Airworthiness, Italian Defence), USAF (Unites States Air Force), NGISSII (Northrop Grumman Integrated System Sector International) and NAGSMA staff members.

NATO AGS in Brief

The AGS Core will be an integrated system consisting of an air segment and a ground segment and related support systems. The air segment consists of five Global Hawk Block 40 high-altitude, long-endurance UAVs.

The UAVs will be equipped with a state-of-the-art, Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) ground surveillance radar sensor, as well as an extensive suite of line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight, long-range, wideband data links.

The air segment will also contain the UAV flight control stations (AVMC2), which will be located at the AGS main operating base at Sigonella Air Base, Italy. The ground segment will provide an interface between the AGS Core system and a wide range of command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C2ISR) systems to interconnect with and provide data to multiple deployed and non-deployed operational users, including reach-back facilities remote from the surveillance area.

The ground segment component will consist of a number of ground/maritime stations in various configurations, such as mobile and transportable, which will provide data-link connectivity, surveillance, data-processing and exploitation capabilities via interfaces (interoperability) with NATO and national C2ISR systems.


NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Aircraft Successfully Takes Flight

(Source: Northrop Grumman; issued Dec. 19, 2015)

PALMDALE, Calif. --- Northrop Grumman Corporation and members of NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency (NAGSMA) celebrated an important and much anticipated milestone today. Leaving from Palmdale, NATO's first Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) aircraft successfully executed a comprehensive range of test points before landing at Edwards Air Force Base.

"The NATO AGS aircraft is part of a system that will allow NATO to meet the requirements of emerging situations around the world. The program will provide unprecedented flexibility and intelligence to the Alliance," said Jim Edge, NAGSMA general manager. "I couldn't be prouder of the multi-national team's hard work and dedication coming to fruition with today's first flight."

A derivative of the wide-area surveillance Global Hawk, the unmanned aircraft has the ability to fly for up to 30 hours at a time. The high-altitude long-endurance system will perform all-weather, persistent wide-area terrestrial and maritime surveillance in near real-time. The NATO-owned and operated system will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to support a range of NATO missions such as protection of ground troops and civilian populations, border control, maritime safety and humanitarian assistance.

The aircraft is equipped with leading-edge technology, including the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor. The MP-RTIP sensor will provide critical data to commanders during operations, in any weather, day or night. Utilizing the MP-RTIP sensor, the NATO AGS system will be able to fuse sensor data, continuously detect and track moving objects and provide imagery of selected objects.

"NATO AGS's successful initial flight kicks off the program's flight test program and represents Northrop Grumman's commitment to advanced airworthy systems for the Alliance," stated Rob Sheehan, NATO AGS deputy program manager, Northrop Grumman. "Strong collaboration between the Alliance and industry partners continues to move this extraordinary program forward."

NATO AGS will be based in Sigonella, Italy. The Italian airbase is already home to U.S Air Force-owned Global Hawks. Northrop Grumman will begin ferrying the first NATO AGS aircraft to Italy in 2016. The system is being procured by 15 NATO nations (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States), and includes five aircraft and European-sourced mobile and transportable ground stations. The ground stations will provide data link connectivity, data processing and exploitation capabilities to multiple deployed and non-deployed operational users. Following acquisition, NATO AGS will become a 28 Alliance nation fully-owned and operated NATO capability.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.