NATO Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC)

NATO Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC)


The Airborne Early Warning and Control System
(or AWACS) has been NATO’s eyes in the sky since the 1980s.
AWACS has served in every NATO operation as a visible symbol of the Alliance’s presence,
while making important contributions in air surveillance, command and control, and other
missions crucial to the Alliance’s defence and security. AWACS will retire in 2035, after
50 years of service. At the Warsaw Summit, NATO launched Alliance
Future Surveillance and Control – or AFSC – to plan how we maintain awareness and
command our forces after AWACS retires. Through this initiative, NATO is fundamentally
redefining how it conducts surveillance and control in the future. This means working
in partnership with experts from a range of communities, including science and technology,
military, and industry. NATO is studying new technologies and exploring
potential mixes of air, ground, space, or unmanned systems connecting together to collect
and share information. These studies will help inform decisions by
NATO, individual Allies, or multinational groups to acquire new systems, rather than
simply buying new aircraft. NATO aims to have any new systems ready and in place by the
time AWACS retires around 2035. Alliance Future Surveillance and Control shows
the steps NATO is taking to plan decades into the future. The effort NATO is making today
will help retain its information advantage after 2035, while ensuring new systems are
cost effective and fit for purpose. It’s an example of what nations can do when
working together through the NATO Alliance.

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