The TIPS industries — EADS, Galileo Avionica, General Dynamics Canada, Indra, Northrop Grumman and Thales — have established a joint venture company to respond to a request for a proposal from NATO for the Alliance Ground Surveillance programme. A contract for the design and development (D&D) phase is expected from NATO later this year. The joint venture company, AGS Industries GmbH, will be the prime contractor for the programme.

The NATO AGS system will provide situational awareness through a shared common ground picture that will be available to NATO and national decision makers. The TIPS mixed fleet of manned and unmanned platforms will provide the Alliance with a core component for the NATO Response Force, providing a critical capability designed to meet its Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Command and Control (C2) requirements for the 21st century. The mixed fleet solution will also support a variety of new mission requirements for NATO including nation building, homeland security and humanitarian relief.

Speaking on behalf of the TIPS industries, Johann Heitzmann, president and chief executive officer of EADS Military Air Systems, said, “We are very satisfied that we have established the AGS Industries GmbH. The joint venture demonstrates the participating companies’ commitment to integration and cooperation, and has helped us establish a united approach towards our NATO customer.”