Defence industry leaders EADS, Indra and Northrop Grumman Corp. have formed an international team to pursue a systems engineering and integration contract that is a key part of the new NATO active-layered theatre ballistic-missile defence programme. This programme will be the first to link the assets of member nations into a multi-layered system that will effectively protect deployed alliance forces against short- and medium-range ballistic-missile attack.

The winning team for the NATO systems engineering and integration (SE&I) contract will design and operate an integration test bed in Europe that will help NATO prepare its member nations’ assets for inclusion into this unified system, with the award of the contract due in the second quarter of 2006.

If chosen, the team will use the integration test bed as a platform to integrate, test and verify the proposed architectures; develop and evaluate theatre missile-defence concepts of operation; and test and evaluate the different architectural capabilities as hardware and software become available. In addition, the team will ensure integration and interoperability among the various NATO components of the architecture from both a technical and operational perspective. The test bed will also be used for performance verification, using detailed modeling and simulation tools to ensure that the actual missile defence performance will meet the requirements.

“We are excited about this opportunity to team with Northrop Grumman and Indra, and bring the full capabilities of EADS to the challenge of NATO ballistic missile defence,” said Dr. Stefan Zoller, chief executive officer of EADS Defence & Security Systems Division. “We have a strong focus on transatlantic cooperation projects and expect to expand this further within our defence and security strategy.”