Northrop Grumman To Support New NATO Global Hawk Fleet

NATO AGS Global Hawk
Credit: Northrop Grumman

LONDON—Northrop Grumman will support NATO’s new fleet of Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Global Hawks for the next five years. 

NATO’s Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) contracted with the OEM to provide in-service support for the five aircraft, with a team of Northrop engineers to be based at the AGS’ main operating base at Sigonella, Sicily. They will be expected to provide repair, engineering, technical and on-site maintenance support, NSPA announced on Aug. 11. Northrop will begin work on Sept. 1. 

The contract value has not been disclosed, but Northrop describes it as multimillion-dollar. 

NATO’s AGS Force (NAGSF) flies five Northrop Grumman RQ-4D Global Hawks—each christened Phoenix—that are tasked with conducting ground-radar reconnaissance flights around the Euro-Atlantic region. Initial operating capability was declared in February. 

The NATO AGS Management Organization, which set up the AGS procurement, is in the process of handing over its responsibilities to the NSPA, which will look after the system on behalf the 30 NATO member countries. NSPA will become the life-cycle manager for AGS and be responsible for the system’s airworthiness on Sept. 1 also. 

“The signature of this contract with Northrop Grumman marks another major milestone toward the in-service support phase of the NATO AGS core system,” said NSPA General Manager Peter Dohmen. “It will enable NSPA, in its role as life-cycle manager of the system, to sustain this key capability on behalf of the Alliance.”  

Tony Osborne

Based in London, Tony covers European defense programs. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2012, Tony was at Shephard Media Group where he was deputy editor for Rotorhub and Defence Helicopter magazines.