NATO advances in the search for the successor to AWACS.

The Alliance Future Monitoring and Control (AFSC) Project has reached a new milestone in its Concept Phase following the Risk Reduction and Feasibility Studies (RRFS) completion.

In March 2022, the Agency awarded three contracts for these RRFS, one per study, to the ABILITI team led by Boeing, the ASPAARO team led by Airbus and Northrop Grumman, and a third team led by General Atomics.

The studies aimed to develop and test the feasibility of three promising concepts identified during the AFSC Project’s initial high-level concept (HLTC) studies. The RRFS saw the participation of major industry players and specialist companies from all NATO nations coming together to enable the analysis of a wide range of requirements and propose innovative solutions.

Subject matter experts from NATO nations, agencies and strategic commands will now participate in a detailed assessment of the results. 

The result of this evaluation, together with an analysis of the possible capacity gaps by the NATO Military Authorities, will inform the decisions of the Nations to initiate the implementation of the AFSC through multiple development programs in the period 2024-2025.

“We are on track to deliver Phase 2 of the AFSC Concept in support of the Nation’s decisions on future surveillance and control capabilities,” said NSPA Director General Stacy Cummings.

“The current conceptual development provides NATO with a comprehensive industry view of emerging technologies, systems and solutions. 

All three teams have done an excellent job of providing an in-depth analysis of the growing contribution of unmanned and autonomous aerial assets, space-based sensors, advanced tactical networking, multi-domain connectivity, and military cloud concepts, all of which can be brought together in a coherent System of Systems architecture to meet NATO’s future surveillance and control requirements,” stated Dr. Cagatay Soyer, AFSC Project Director.

With its Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) fleet expected to retire around 2035, NATO is defining a new generation of surveillance and control capabilities under the Alliance’s Future Surveillance and Control Project (AFSC).

 Under the governance of all NATO nations, the new capabilities are expected to meet military requirements for tactical surveillance and control across domains and in a wide range of operational scenarios.

NATO Support and Procurement Agency