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Airbus teams with Northrop Grumman for NATO’s AWACS successor program

ASPAARO bid for NATO AFSC program to replace AWACS
Photo: Airbus

Northrop Grumman and Airbus Defence and Space have teamed up with seven industrial players in a bid to secure a contract for work on NATO’s Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) program which will aim to find a successor for the AWACS aircraft.

The companies have established the Atlantic Strategic Partnership for Advanced All-domain Resilient Operations (ASPAARO), in order to bid to undertake the risk reduction and feasibility studies (RRFS) for the AFSC program.

The feasibility studies are a key milestone in the AFSC program, designed to support NATO in finding the alliance’s future tactical surveillance, command and control capabilities after the current Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) fleet reaches the end of its service life in 2035.

Following the delivery of a high-level technical concept in 2020 by three of the team members (Airbus, Lockheed Martin and MDA Ltd.), Airbus continues to support NATO in the concept stage of the AFSC program together with Northrop Grumman and a transatlantic team including Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Kongsberg, MDA, GMV, Exence and IBM.

According to Airbus, 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.

“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,” said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space.

A decision on the contract award for the risk reduction and feasibility studies for NATO AFSC is expected in 2022.