The Head of the NATO theatre missile defence programme announced that NATO’s first ever theatre missile defence capability had passed key tests, and that it is on schedule to be available to NATO commanders at the end of 2010.
General Alessandro Pera, Head of the Programme, made the statement following the Dutch Air Force Joint Project Optic Windmill 2010 exercise, which concluded on 16 July. During the exercise, the NATO Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence Programme underwent a series of important tests, prior to its handover to NATO commanders.
“We are very happy with the results. By the end of 2010, NATO will have – for the first time – a capability to link national sensors and shooters into a real-time missile defence capability,” said General Pera.
“During the exercise we linked the missile defence command and control system that NATO has developed with both real and simulated sensors and shooters, to practice operations to counter simulated threats,” he said, “We saw the kind of performance necessary to conduct a theatre missile defence battle.”
The capability will include a deployable van that, in due course, will be able to support a theatre missile defence operation anywhere in the world.
Leveraging existing and new capabilities
The ALTBMD Programme has already delivered an interim capability, which allows commanders to plan a theatre missile defence battle. At the end of this year, the capability will be significantly upgraded and will add a real-time situational awareness capability.
Prior to the handover of the capability, all InCa components – including missile defence sensors and shooters from NATO Nations – will be linked in an ‘ensemble’ test in December.
In order, to meet the deadlines, the ALTBMD programme has leveraged existing capabilities, including prototypes developed by the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency, as well as the first ever operational deployment of NATO’s ACCS.
“This is a good example of the synergies offered when NATO’s C4I community works together,” said Pera, “The programme office model is a very powerful and flexible structure.”