The NATO Communications and Information Agency has signed a 40 million EUR contract with Airbus France for the delivery of the first phase of the NATO Communications Infrastructure Project. The contract also includes options for future phases of the project, worth up to 50 million EUR. The contract was signed at the end of 2017, with scheduled activities commencing March 2018.
The NATO Communications Infrastructure project will replace a major part of the NATO General Communications System, affecting 72 NATO sites. It will provide a major upgrade of the wide area protected IP communications across the NATO Command Structure, NATO Headquarters and NATO Points of Presence in NATO Member Nations, delivering:
- Upgraded IP access and transport services across different security classifications with significant increased capacity, Quality of Service and traffic engineering capabilities;
- NATO Unclassified voice services through the replacement of old telephony switches by Voice over IP telephony at 25 sites.
The project's requirements demand the use of open standards and a low-risk approach to implementation, whilst also encouraging the contractor to consider a modern and efficient technical solution. Due to its high complexity (e.g. each of the 72 sites is unique in its network capabilities), the project requires a careful development phase with input from a broad cross section of expertise from the Agency. Design review is estimated to be completed in December 2018. The first phase of the project, which culminates in Wave 1 implementation, is estimated to be completed by November 2019.
The NATO Communications Infrastructure Project, together with the IT Modernization Project and the Enterprise NATO Public Key Infrastructure Project, is part of the wider IT Modernization Programme which aims to transform NATO's static IT infrastructure into a homogenous enterprise, customer-funded service delivery systems, with a common service management and control layer, increased levels of virtualization, modern cloud technology, and appropriate resilience mechanisms.