News / Published on July 19, 2017

ThalesRaytheonSystems and Lockheed Martin to develop territorial BMD for ACCS

ThalesRaytheonSystems (TRS) and Lockheed Martin have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop territorial ballistic missile defence (BMD) capabilities for NATO's Air Command and Control System (ACCS). TRS is a joint venture between Thales and Raytheon.

The programme will improve NATO's existing capability to manage ballistic missile attacks for all European nations of the alliance. The territory to be covered is equivalent to a surface area of more than 10 million sq km.

A continuation of TRS and Lockheed Martin's work on NATO's theatre BMD programme since 2008, the project is the Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence System (ALTBMD) capability, the aim of which is to protect NATO-deployed forces against short- and medium-range ballistic missile threats up to a range of 3,000 km.

The territorial missile defence project will expand this to provide protection for population centres and territory in NATO member countries.

ALTBMD consists of a multi-layered series of systems, comprising low and high-altitude defences including battle management, communications, command and control (BMC3I), early warning sensors, radars, and various interceptors. NATO member countries will provide the sensors and weapon systems, and NATO the BMC3I segment and the integration of the various elements into a coherent architecture.

An interim ALTBMD capability was deployed at NATO HQ Air Command BMD Operations Centre (BMDOC) at Ramstein in Germany, which was declared operational in May 2012. Subsequent work integrated this interim capability with NATO ACCS, and made further improvements. The initial operational capability for the integrated BMDOC was declared at the NATO Warsaw summit in July 2016.

TRS will be the prime contractor and system integrator for the programme, which will involve a number of different partners. Lockheed Martin developed the ballistic missile defence planning capability through its Defense Design System, and both Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have experience as prime contractors for the US BMD capability.

Speaking to Jane's  at the 2017 Paris Air Show, where the MoU was signed, TRS CEO Eric Marceau said: "This MoU is the follow-on of a project that began in 2008, when we decided to work together with Lockheed Martin to develop the NATO theatre ballistic missile defence capability. We will continue to work together on what has been a very successful cooperation."