Northrop Grumman Corporation and Airbus Defence and Space, together with seven industrial players, have established ASPAARO, the Atlantic Strategic Partnership for Advanced All-domain Resilient Operations. ASPAARO will bid to undertake the Risk Reduction and Feasibility Studies (RRFS) for the NATO Support and Procurement Agency as part of the Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) programme.
The feasibility studies are a key milestone in the AFSC programme which aims to support NATO and NATO nations as they consider 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 programme together with Northrop Grumman and a strong transatlantic team including Lockheed Martin (US), BAE Systems (UK), KONGSBERG (Norway), MDA (Canada), GMV (Spain), Exence (Poland) and IBM (US).
ASPAARO offers an unparalleled set of skills and capabilities that will address the threats of today and tomorrow and will fulfil the Alliance’s requirements across all domains. The industry team 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.
“Cutting-edge surveillance and control systems are at the heart of ensuring NATO’s continued operational success to which we are fully committed to. We feel privileged to support this strategic programme for NATO by leveraging our experience and capabilities in multi-domain operations, surveillance and intelligence. 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.
Northrop Grumman President of Aeronautics Systems Tom Jones emphasized ASPAARO’s focus on the NATO customer’s mission requirements. “ASPAARO brings together the best industrial capabilities across the NATO community to address increasingly vital surveillance and command and control needs. In a rapidly evolving threat environment NATO needs the strategic advantage that advanced surveillance and control provides; ASPAARO is committed to delivering those unmatched capabilities to the NATO AFSC programme.”
A decision on the contract award for the Risk Reduction and Feasibility Studies for NATO AFSC is expected in 2022.