At this year's Warsaw NATO Summit Airbus Defence and Space brought along something to share—their newly developed Mobile General Ground Station (MGGS). The heads of state and senior NATO and national officials got a good look at the MGGS as well as an explanation as to its capabilities that will offer surveillance, intelligence and reconnaissance over wide areas.
Apparently the presentation went well as NATO has ordered a total of six MGGS units, which will be delivered to its Main Operating Base in Sigonella on the island of Sicily, Italy, and the first one will reach the base at the end of July. From there, the stations can be redeployed to NATO operating units worldwide as and when required.
Statement by the NATO AGS Force Commander:
Col. Pedro Renn, NATO AGS Force Commander explained the system, “AGS is the first NATO owned-and-operated ground surveillance system, using state-of-the-art sensors and information knowledge management systems,” said Col. Pedro Renn, NATO AGS Force Commander. “AGS will be available to all Alliance members and will be a key capability for Alliance strategic anticipation.”
MGGS is the mobile deployable part of the AGS core, that can be integrated into shelters and easily transported, enables the processing and management of the radar images received, and the communication component ensures the distribution of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance data to forward-deployed users, regardless of location or communications infrastructure in-the-field.
The Radar images will be acquired by the Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft and received via a direct or satellite broadband connection. Additionally, data from all interoperable C2ISR (Command, Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems operated by NATO and its member states can be received and evaluated. The exploitation results will provide information about stationary and moving objects on the ground to the local unit’s commander and can be distributed as well within NATO forces.
Statement by Head of Intelligence Business Cluster at Airbus Defence and Space:
Bernhard Brenner, Head of Intelligence Business Cluster at Airbus Defence and Space stated,"We are very proud to contribute to the AGS program with our knowledge and experience in Intelligence and Surveillance. Almost two hundred engineers and eleven industrial partners from seven nations have supported the development and production of the Mobile General Ground Station. MGGS will provide near-real time information about stationary and moving ground objects to commanders and troops all over the world to serve as a valuable input for actionable intelligence."
The AGS industrial team, led by Northrop Grumman, includes Airbus Defence and Space, Leonardo and Kongsberg, as well as leading defence companies from the participating nations. The AGS system comprises five remotely piloted aircrafts developed and produced by Northrop Grumman as well as mobile and transportable ground segments developed and produced by Airbus Defence and Space and Leonardo.