SES announced today an agreement with Northrop Grumman Corporation to supply satellite capacity and services for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system. Operating under NATO command, AGS will be a major data source for NATO's system for Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR).

AGS supports NATO's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requirements and a broad range of missions, including protecting ground forces, border and maritime security, counter- and anti-terrorism, crisis management, peacekeeping and enforcement, humanitarian assistance and natural disaster relief. SES will deliver Ku-band capacity over the U.S. and Europe, as well as engineering support in the design and development of the system.

As prime contractor for the NATO AGS programme, Northrop Grumman will provide the necessary five Global Hawk air vehicles, supporting systems and payloads. The payloads include the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) radar system capable of detecting and tracking moving objects as well as providing radar imagery of target locations and stationary objects.

Northrop Grumman signed a $1.7 billion (€1.2 billion) contract with NATO and 13 participating nations in May 2012. Besides the air segment, the contract also includes the purchase, initial operation and maintenance of the ground stations, comprised of mobile and transportable units and providing real-time data, intelligence and target identification to commanders within and beyond line of sight.

“The participation of SES in this multi-national, long-term NATO programme is extremely important for us, as it allows us to contribute our fleet and service capabilities and prove the advantages and know-how that we have in the construction and operation of large, international governmental and institutional systems,” said Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES. “We are honoured to meet the alliance’s highest standards and needs, demonstrating our expertise in the highly demanding field of service provision for unmanned aircraft systems with our specialised and highly committed governmental and institutions team at SES.”