OTTAWA, Canada, 5 Jan. 2012. General Dynamics Canada has been awarded a $32.5 million contract by Northrop Grumman for communications network technology for the NATO alliance ground surveillance (AGS) program.
Under this contract, General Dynamics Canada will provide the software that will control the AGS communications ground control system (CGCS). The CGCS will manage radio and satellite communications between Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the main operating base in Sigonella, Italy. General Dynamics Canada will also deliver ruggedized computer workstations and the voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) intercom systems that will enable communications between operators at the operating base and with mobile command centers. The company will also provide engineering support for the integration of its software and systems at Northrop Grummanâs facilities in the United States, and at the main operating base in Italy.
The NATO AGS program, which is led by Northrop Grumman, is an international procurement initiative to establish an airborne ground surveillance system, which can provide NATO commanders with a comprehensive picture of activity on the ground. It includes five Northrop Grumman Global Hawk UAVs, missionized to NATO requirements; mobile ground command and control vehicles; as well as associated command and control base stations. Once deployed, the AGS system will enable NATO and its coalition partners to gather intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information to support military and humanitarian operations.
With its main operating base at Sigonella, NATO AGS will be co-located with the U.S. Air Force Global Hawks and the U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton (BAMS) Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aircraft systems, further advancing synergies across the three programs in operational capability, lifecycle logistics and sustainment.
Development and production of the AGS program is expected to take place over the next three years, with initial operation scheduled for November 2016. General Dynamics Canada will continue to provide in-service support for the system beyond 2016.