Nine Firms to Study NATO’s AWACS Replacement

Nine private firms have established a formal mechanism to jointly undertake feasibility studies to replace NATO’s current Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) surveillance aircraft as it expires in 2035.

The Advanced All-domain Resilient Operations (ASPAARO), as part of NATO’s Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) initiative, offers an “unparalleled set of skills and capabilities” to deal with future threats.

“ASPAARO will leverage its multi-domain concepts, advanced technologies and integrated designs to pave the way to a fully interoperable architecture between NATO nations while further driving innovation through combined access, investments and experience,” Northrop Grumman, one of the nine firms, wrote.

NATO’s Bid to Replace ‘Eye in the Sky’

The ASPAARO answers the NATO call for a detailed study to assess the feasibility of “how NATO could meet the AFSC requirements by 2035,” submitted by a consortium of six companies in March 2020. NATO will assess the ASPAARO in 2023.

The CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, Michael Schöllhorn, said that “cutting-edge surveillance and control systems are at the heart of ensuring NATO’s continued operational success to which we are fully committed.

“With this transatlantic teaming, we are offering our commitment to provide the Atlantic Alliance with the most powerful technological solutions to ensure it stays ahead of the curve in tomorrow’s multi-domain-driven theatres of operation.” 

Airbus Defence and Space and Northrop Grumman are leading the ASPAARO initiative, which includes Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, KONGSBERG, MDA, GMV, Exence, and IBM.

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