Airbus has presented its Mobile General Ground Station (MGGS) during the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Welcoming Ceremony in Sigonella, Italy, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg being present.
During this event, Airbus showcased its operationally ready Mobile General Ground Station (MGGS) to senior NATO and national officials.
The AGS industrial team led by Northrop Grumman, included Airbus, Leonardo and Kongsberg, as well as leading defence companies from the participating nations. The AGS system includes five remotely piloted aircrafts (Global Hawk), developed and produced by Northrop Grumman as well as mobile and transportable ground segments developed and produced by Airbus and Leonardo.
The first two (of five) Global Hawk aircrafts arrived in Sigonella last December, with a view that the initial Operational Capability will be achieved during the second quarter of 2020.
“Our shared security depends on the best equipment and the latest technologies.” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “What you see in front of you is the visible demonstration that NATO is adaptable, innovative and a united Alliance.”
The MGGS aims at providing the Alliance with an unprecedented capability of persistent surveillance, intelligence and reconnaissance over wide areas. The MGGS is the mobile deployable part of the AGS core, perfectly integrated into shelters and can be easily transported. Its exploitation component enables the processing and management of the radar images received, whilst its communication component ensures the distribution of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance data to forward-deployed users, regardless of location or communications infrastructure in-the-field.
Radar images will be acquired by the Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft and received via a direct or satellite broadband connection. In additon, data from all interoperable C2ISR (Command, Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems operated by NATO and its member states can be received and evaluated. The exploitation results will provide information about stationary and moving objects on the ground to the local unit’s commander and can be distributed as well within NATO forces.
NATO has ordered a total of six MGGS units, which have already been sent to the Main Operating Base in Sigonella. The first Production Units will be handed over to the NATO AGS Force during the first quarter of 2020. Thereafter, the stations can be redeployed to NATO operating units worldwide as and when required.
"We are very proud to contribute to the AGS program with our knowledge and experience in Intelligence and Surveillance. During the last two years our focus was on the Integration of the AGS Core System, where we could successfully demonstrate our capabilities to integrate such a complex system”, said Harald Mannheim, Head of Defence Solutions at Airbus.“MGGS will provide near-real time information about stationary and moving ground objects to commanders and troops all over the world to serve as a valuable input for actionable intelligence."