The Moroccan government’s military transport wing has taken delivery of the first of four C-27J Spartans that it ordered from Alenia Aeronautica in October 2008. The aircraft, which arrived at Kenitra air base on July 7, is equipped with the self-protection suite but does not feature an in-flight refuelling probe.
Fifteen years after the concept was first mooted, NATO may finally acquire an alliance ground surveillance system (AGS). Northrop Grumman last month submitted a firm baseline proposal plus options on behalf of a transatlantic consortium that also includes EADS, Selex Galileo and a variety of smaller European companies.
Responding to mounting criticism of civilian casualties caused by air strikes, the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) tightened the rules of engagement (RoE) last July.
A report by the international Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization has put further pressure on U.S. and NATO air staffs and troops conducting air strikes in Afghanistan.
The proposed Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system for NATO was scaled back when program officials quietly dropped plans to convert four Airbus A321 airliners after deeming it too expensive. NATO also cancelled development of the Transatlantic Cooperative AGS Radar (TCAR), which would have been the main airborne sensor for the AGS.
A senior air force officer serving with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan has challenged the defense industry to produce lighter and more capable equipment for troops calling in air strikes on Taleban positions.
Training pilots to fly combat jets is an expensive proposition. A proposal by European air chiefs to cut costs by combining forces has made only slow progress. However, two well established multinational training programs are readily available in North America. Meanwhile, “downloading” and “contractorization” are the prevailing buzzwords, as all air forces try to rationalize their flight training systems.
The largest multinational industrial consortium yet assembled for a defense program will gather this morning to brief on progress on the e4-billion-plus Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program for NATO. No fewer than 23 nations are involved in the TIPS consortium, whose mixed-fleet proposal was endorsed by NATO last year.
AGS Industries, a recently formed joint-venture company headquartered in Ottobrunn, Germany, is working on a response to a formal request for proposal for the design and development of NATO’s alliance ground surveillance (AGS) system.
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