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Mar 4 2020

Third AFSC Industry Day held at NATO HQ

On 3 March 2020, the Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) programme held its third Industry Day at NATO Headquarters (Brussels). The event, organized by NSPA with the support of NATO HQ, featured more than 60 companies across 16 Allied nations, with expertise from not only traditional defence sectors, but also technology, e-commerce, and telecommunications.

Attended by over 100 industry experts, the event aimed at exploring emerging technologies and concepts to meet NATO's future surveillance and command and control requirements.

An early engagement and partnership with industry is key to the success of the AFSC Concept Stage. NSPA has so far awarded six contracts for the generation of high-level technical concepts. in the next stage NATO Allies will now define options for future surveillance and control capabilities, this includes the development of a series of Risk Reduction and Feasibility Studies in order to define technical concepts and understand their feasibility for future AFSC solutions.

Thus this event, opened by Mr Camille Grand, NATO Assistant Secretary for Defence Investment, offered participating companies, institutions and nations representatives with useful insights on the the programme, clarifying expectations and informing on upcoming milestones. Jackie Pinkston, Principle Procurement officer AFSC, confirmed: "AFSC's procurement is focused on transparent, collaborative Industry engagement for our next milestone to perform risk reduction and feasibility studies."

Industry participants had the opportunity to bring their perspectives into the development of concepts, ask questions and discuss technological challenges. Some of the companies presented briefings on topics of interest to the AFSC project, such as Wide Surveillance and Data Fusion, MicroSatellites for Earth Observation and Surveillance, Platform Development, and Artificial Intelligence among others.

After the Industry Day, a Networking Event took place, another excellent opportunity to exchange ideas, create contacts and discuss future developments.

Third AFSC Industry Day held at NATO HQ

About the AFSC Programme

The AWACS fleet, NATO's key surveillance and control asset, is planned to retire in 2035, after 50 years of service. To plan for the required follow-on capability, NATO launched the Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC), an innovative project where NATO is involving industry at a very early stage to develop new options for future NATO surveillance and control capabilities, based on future technology and requirements.

In 2017, the North Atlantic Council initiated the Concept Stage of the AFSC. The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) is managing the concept phase on behalf of the NATO nations and in this context is responsible to conduct studies and develop technical concepts that will help inform future decisions by NATO, individual nations or multinational groups to acquire new systems.

In December 2018, the North Atlantic Council declared the first phase of the AFSC Concept Stage complete on schedule and on budget, and agreed to advance into the second phase.

In the second phase now underway, NATO will tap into the expertise of Alliance industries. In 2020, a series of industrial competitions will be launched to propose the art of the possible to meet NATO's requirements for 2035.

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