The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency released on 23 May 2019 the Invitation for Bid (IFB) for the first NATO-owned counter-drone capability.
Through the procurement, NATO will receive and operate a suite of different sensors, like radars, cameras and acoustics, to detect and geo-locate hostile drones.
“The release of this IFB for NATO's first counter-drone capability is a major milestone, not only for the project but also for NATO," said Rene Thaens, Head of the Electronic Warfare and Sensors Branch of the NCI Agency. Thaens is also the Project Manager for this capability.
Releasing the IFB is the next step toward deploying four systems to Afghanistan to protect the men and women of NATO's Resolute Support mission from the threat of small-scale commercial drones. The NATO-led Resolute Support mission provides training, advice and assistance to Afghan security forces and institutions.
Widely available small drones can be equipped with explosives or high-resolution cameras, which are difficult to detect and counter with the current equipment in Resolute Support. With the new capability, a Resolute Support operator could attempt to jam the drone frequencies to chase away the drone, or to force it to land to remove the threat.
After the closing date of this bid, a team of experts will start the bid evaluation phase. The winning bidder will be invited for a technical demonstration.
The Agency plans to award a contract by the fourth quarter of 2019, and roll out an initial capability by the second quarter of 2020.
Questions regarding the project can be directed to Thaens at rene.thaens (at) ncia.nato.int.