Where we are

chicago-banner.jpg25 - 29 September 2012 - 2nd Ensemble Test

Twelve laboratories from five nations across two continents were connected; a total of sixteen national and NATO systems were integrated and tested during this ambitious test.

The participating systems included:

• the Patriot missile defence systems of The Netherlands, Germany and the United States,
• the ADCF Frigate of the Royal Netherlands Navy,
• the surface-to-air medium range missile defence systems (SAMP/T) of France and Italy,
• the SAM Operations Centre from Germany,
• the Tactical Transportable Radar (TPS-77) and the Horizon PAAMS (Principal Anti Air Missile System) of Italy,
• the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence System, the Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications system (C2BMC), the Army Navy / Transportable Radar Surveillance (AN/TPY-2), and the Shared Early Warning System (SEW) of the United States,
• the Air Command and Control System (ACCS), the Air Command and Control Information Services (AirC2IS), CRC System Interface (CSI), and the Interim Command and Control (ICC) system of NATO.

Conducted over NATO's Combined Federated Battle Lab Network (CFBLNet), the ensemble test provided an invaluable opportunity to work with NATO operators on realistic scenarios. The test confirmed NATO's ability to work with both existing and new national systems to provide BMD situational awareness and command and control of missile defence forces.

10 September 2012 - BMD PO Receives David R. Israel Award

On 10 September, the NATO Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Programme Office of the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency received the 2012 David R. Israel Meritorious Achievement Award. Click here for details.

1 July 2012 - NATO Ballistic Missile Defence

On 1 July 2012, the Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Defence Programme Office became part of the new NATO Communications and Information Agency. At the same time, the programme was redesignated the NATO Ballistic Missile Defence Programme Office (NATO BMD PO).

20 May 2012 - NATO Declares Interim Ballistic Missile Defence Capability

At the NATO Chicago Summit in May 2012, NATO leaders declared that the Alliance has developed and fielded an interim ballistic missile defence capability.

This marks the first step in the development of an eventual complete NATO ballistic missile defence system. This follows integration activities that have taken place as well as successful technical verification and operational validation of the system. Providing an incipient capability, it also serves to reduce technical and cost risks for the full capability that will eventually be fielded.

1-3 November 2011 - NATO Commanders Test C2 Systems

During the German Air Force live fire in Crete, the Alliance's interim theatre missile defence command and control capability was used by NATO commanders to plan, coordinate and carry out missile defence engagements. Shooters included the German Patriot batteries assisted by the U.S. AEGIS destroyer the 'USS The Sullivans' (DDG-68) engaging live ballistic missile targets. NATO elements included Allied Air Command Ramstein, Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem and Air Component Command Izmir.

The exercise also demonstrated the ability of the NATO system to interface and exchange date with the systems that will soon contribute to the U.S. European Phased Adaptive Approach.

03 October 2011 - Ballistic Missile Defence NATO Staff Requirement

Pursuant to the expanded NATO ambition for missile defence as articulated at the Lisbon Summit (pictured in the banner image above), a contract was signed on 20 September 2011 with an industry consortium led by SAIC. This team joined the Programme Office at the NCI Agency in The Hague on 3 October 2011 to develop the detailed technical requirements to transform NATO's Theatre Missile Defence Programme into a programme to protect the NATO European territory and populations. These engineers formed the core of a technical team that worked in an integrated project team fashion with the BMD Programme Office. The resulting BMD NATO Staff Requirement (NSR) will underpin all future work to define and deliver NATO's wider-BMD capabilities.

1st Ensemble Test, 6-10 December 2010

The end of 2010 witnessed the first of a series of annual risk reduction events - ET1. All test objectives were successfully achieved and findings will greatly support future development and risk reduction activities. The test environment supported a high level of interaction between the NATO Command organisations, and featured: all of the participating nations; the Programme Office; and the NATO C3 Agency, as illustrated in the image below:

  • DEU - German Air Force Air Defense Center (El Paso, TX)

  • FRA - La Direction générale de l'armement-maîtrise de l'information - DGA/MI (Bruz)

  • ITA - Comando Artiglieria Contraerei - COMACA (Sabaudia), Centro di Programmazione della Marina - MARICEN PROG (Taranto)

  • NLD - Groep Geleide Wapens - GGW (de Peel), Centrum voor Automatisering van Mission critical Systems - CAMS (Den Helder)

  • USA - Naval Surface Warfare Center - NSWC (Dahlgren), Software Engineering Directorate - SED (Huntsville), Shared Early Warning - SEW (Peterson AFB), Command, Control, Battle Management & Communications - C2BMC (Peterson AFB), Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center - MDIOC (Colorado Springs)

  • NATO - Bi-Strategic Command Automated Information System - Bi-SC AIS (NC3A, The Hague)


Subsequent to the Ensemble Test, an interim capability was set-up in a NATO Command Centre and tests with the operational community were successfully conducted near the end of December, prior to a handover. The operational validation of this second increment of the ALTBMD Interim Capability was conducted by elements of the NATO Command Structure in October 2011.


Other Testing Activities Conducted to Date

  • Deployed Field Test, Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem, 13 - 17 December 2010

  • Ensemble Test 1 Dry Run successfully conducted to multiple sites, 1 – 5 November 2010

  • Ensemble Test 1 Multi-Cluster Test successfully conducted 18 - 22 October 2010

  • Joint Project Optic Windmill 2010, conducted at RNLAF De Peel Airbase, home of the RNLAF Guided Weapons Group (GGW) (see the News page)

  • Ensemble Test 1 Main Planning Conference successfully conducted in The Hague, 14-17 June 2010

  • Opening of the extended Integration Test Bed in NC3A The Hague, on budget and ahead of schedule (see the News page)

  • Development of functional and performance specifications for interface control documentation

  • Development of functional and performance specifications for Capability 1 Initial Operational Capability

  • Establishment of the Operational User Group coincident with Programme start-up

  • Risk Reduction testing with the Royal Netherlands Air Force Base De Peel

  • Shared Situational Awareness between:

    • NATO Air Command and Control System (ACCS), and

    • U.S. Command, Control, Battle Management, & Communications (C2BMC) System

  • Risk Reduction testing at the Technical Centre for Electronic Warfare Expertise (CELAR), in Bruz, France

  • Royal Netherlands Air Force - Joint Project Optic Windmill

  • ACCS – Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System (Aegis BMD) HWIL Test

  • ACCS – Aegis BMD HWIL Test


  • ACCS – Patriot Hardware-in-the-Loop (HWIL) Test

  • Initial Non–Real Time (NRT) Plan Exchange

  • Risk Reduction testing at the Technical Centre for Electronic Warfare Expertise (CELAR), in Bruz, France

  • Royal Netherlands Air Force - Joint Project Optic Windmill

  • ACCS – Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System (Aegis BMD) HWIL Test

  • ACCS – Aegis BMD HWIL Test


  • ACCS – Patriot Hardware-in-the-Loop (HWIL) Test

  • Initial Non–Real Time (NRT) Plan Exchange

NATO Missile Defence - Evolution

2010-2011 Interim Capability (InCA) 1 and 2:

  • The fielding of InCA 1 is completed to 18 NATO sites on May 4th in time for EXERCISE STEADFAST JUNCTURE, which successfully validates the operational capability that has been delivered to the users.

  • Work continues to complete the InCA2 activities by the end of 2011.

2009 Interim Capability:

  • An early capability requested by the NATO Strategic Commands begins to be fielded, providing some of the required functionality by leveraging NATO research programmes in the TBMD area and capabilities currently in use. This includes a planning and tasking capability based on the NC3A-developed PlaTo prototype, interfaced with the NATO Integrated Command and Control (ICC) system and deployed in the locations designated by the NATO Military Authorities. The training for the capability (the main focus of effort in 2009) is conducted by the Extended Air Defence Task Force, with the support of the NATO C3 Agency.

2008 Integration Test Bed Inauguration

  • The integration and test facility (known as the "Integration Test Bed - ITB") becomes operational ahead of schedule. Consisting of computer simulation tools to test the architectures, it also is used for integration tests to ensure that all national systems work effectively together. With connections to participating member nations' operations and test facilities throughout the Alliance, the approach to the development of this complex system of systems is based on extensive prototyping, design and implementation of advanced architectures, and their validation through modelling and computer-based simulation.


2007 Integrated Project Teams Established

  • ALTBMD members, voluntary national contributors and national experts from nine contributing NATO nations combine with the System Engineering and Integration (SE&I) company members to form Integrated Project Teams (IPTs) in The Hague. TeamSAIC includes companies from several member nations, including:

    • Datamat, Diehl, EADS-Astrium, iABG, QinetiQ, Raytheon, Thales and ThalesRaytheonSystems.

2006 ALTBMD PO Contract Signature

  • In November at the Riga Summit Meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government, an SAIC corporate officer and the ALTBMD Programme Manager sign the official agreement (the NATO Secretary General looks on). This $95 million contract envisions the fielding of both an initial operational capability (IOC) and a final operational capability (FOC).



2006 Programme Management Organisation

  • In March 2006, the Alliance approved the establishment of a Programme Management Organisation under the auspices of the CNAD. In September 2006 the first major contract for the development of a key component of the system was awarded, namely the NATO Battlefield Management, Command Control Communication and Intelligence capability.

2005 NATO Approves ALTBMD

  • NATO formally approves the Capability Package for Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence and the Programme Office is established.

2004 Istanbul Summit

  • At the 2004 Heads of State and Government meeting in Istanbul, NATO directed that work on theatre ballistic missile defence be taken forward expeditiously.

2001 Theatre Missile Defence (TMD)

  • In May 2001, NATO launches two feasibility studies conducted by teams led by Lockheed-Martin Missiles and Fire Control, and Science Applications International Cooperation (SAIC).

1999 NATO Strategic Concept

  • Recognizing the need for missile defence to counter nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) threats, the 1999 strategic concept states: "The Alliance's defence posture against the risks and potential threats of the proliferation of NBC weapons and their means of delivery must continue to be improved, including through work on missile defence. The aim in doing so will be to further reduce operational vulnerabilities of NATO military forces while maintaining their flexibility and effectiveness despite the presence, threat or use of NBC weapons."