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Hensoldt, L3Harris team up for NATO's AFSC programme

Hensoldt and L3Harris announced in a joint press release on 14 September that they had signed a strategic co-operation agreement to develop new capabilities for NATO's Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) programme, which will replace NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft in 2035.

The companies said they would offer their expertise in platform-independent mission solutions. Hensoldt's contribution will include capabilities in active and passive sensors, sensor data fusion, and network management. Jürgen Halder, head of strategic projects at Hensoldt's spectrum dominance division, called for “an intelligent approach to platform-independent, networked high-end sensors, [artificial intelligence]-based data exploitation and dissemination”. Dave Johnson, vice-president of strategy, integrated mission systems at L3Harris, said the team “will explore open systems, multi-function solutions and data-centric concepts to sustain the NATO alliance's military advantage from 2035 and beyond”.

L3Harris announced the five other members of its team bidding for AFSC on 13 September: Hensoldt, Jacobs (United Kingdom), General Dynamics (Canada and Italy), CAE (Canada), and Viasat (United States). The team will analyse the risks and feasibility of AFSC candidate system of systems.

The team members delivered a high level technical concept study to NATO in 2020, focusing on data-centric architecture, multidomain surveillance, and control over the full spectrum of benign, permissive, contested, and denied operational environments.

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