NATO receives third Phoenix UAV as AGS tracks towards IOC

by Gareth Jennings

NATO has received the third of five Northrop Grumman RQ-4D Phoenix unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that will form the air component of its Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) capability.

The third of five Global Hawk-based Phoenix UAVs for NATO’s AGS capability arrived at MOB Sigonella on Sicily on 15 July. (NATO)

The third of five Global Hawk-based Phoenix UAVs for NATO’s AGS capability arrived at MOB Sigonella on Sicily on 15 July. (NATO)

The delivery of aircraft NATO-03 from Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in California into Main Operating Base (MOB) Sigonella on the island of Sicily took place on 15 July, and is the latest milestone in the ramp-up of the AGS capability that should see initial operating capability (IOC) declared by the end of the year.

“Having now three Phoenix aircraft in Sigonella gives the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency more flexibility in working test and verification issues, by simultaneously providing the equipment for familiarisation and training,” Brigadier General Volker Samanns, the General Manager of the NATO AGS Management Agency (AGSMA) said.

This third aircraft will now undergo a system level performance verification phase before being officially handed over to the NATO AGS Force. The final two aircraft are scheduled to arrive at MOB Sigonella in the coming weeks, with IOC to follow by the end of 2020.

Built around five RQ-4D high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) UAVs that are derived from the Global Hawk Block 40 aircraft, the AGS programme is designed to provide NATO member nations with a persistent and near real-time, all-weather, wide-area terrestrial, and maritime surveillance system in support of a range of missions, such as the protection of ground troops and civilian populations, border control, maritime safety, and humanitarian assistance.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/nato-receives-third-phoenix-uav-as-ags-tracks-towards-ioc

NATO has received the third of five Northrop Grumman RQ-4D Phoenix unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) t...

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