The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) announced on its website on 5 December that it had awarded six contracts for the Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) capability that will replace its Airborne Warning and Control (AWACS) aircraft in 2035. "This is a significant step that will enable the development of high-level technical concepts for NATO's future surveillance and control capabilities," the agency said.
The contracts were awarded after an international bidding process to the Boeing ABILITI Consortium, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, Airbus Germany, L3Harris Consortium UK, and MDA under the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP) infrastructure programme. The Boeing ABILITI Consortium includes Thales France, Leonardo Italy, Indra Systems, and Inmarsat, while the L3Harris team includes Musketeer Solutions, Videns, 3SDL, Synergeticon, Hensoldt Sensors, IBM UK, and Deloitte Belgium.
The NSPA said the AFSC concept stage was launched by the North Atlantic Council, the alliance's highest decision-making body, in 2017.
The best value contracts are the first step in a series of concept development and assessment activities in 2020-22, according to the NSPA. Çağatay Soyer, the NSPA's AFSC project manager, expected the first concept results in the coming months.
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