Command and Control (C2) of NATO Air Operations in Europe and out-of-area requires the integration of a number of components and services at all command echelons to efficiently employ combat and support aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and ground-to-air missiles.
The NATO Air Command and Control System (ACCS) provides the backbone which supports the planning, tasking and execution of all air operations. Peripheral and legacy systems complement NATO ACCS at the higher Headquarters and for certain functions.
The AirC2 Programme Office & Services (PO&S), as part of the NCI Agency, ensures the harmonized planning, implementation, evolution and support of the NATO ACCS and other AirC2 assigned programmes, in a way that satisfies the operational requirements and minimizes the military risk, taking into account the NATO political, economic and schedule requirements and using the most suitable industrial and technological solutions. The AirC2 PO&S provides full life cycle management of the AirC2 backbone and the periphery/legacy/ interim solutions from locations in Brussels and Glons. However, with the on-going optimization of the NCI Agency and the finalization of the ACCS fielding, this integration will be intensified and eventually be consolidated at one location in The Hague.
A word from the Director
After years of requirements consolidation and system development, realization and testing, solution of small and big problems, NATO's highly integrated and highly interoperable Air Command and Control System is about to become reality. This will be the completion of an extraordinary effort that has involved the nations, NATO and industry. Some ACCS static operational sites and deployable components will reach defined levels of operational usefulness based on the NATO ACCS by the end of 2014, followed closely by the other main AirC2 elements of the new NATO Command Structure. Testing for the acceptance of the system will be complete soon. At the same time, more sites are being constructed and equipped throughout NATO Europe and older national systems will be taken out of service. Soon the ACCS will be the tangible backbone of NATO's integrated Air and Missile Defence.
At the same time, the NCI Agency is pursuing the assigned objective to contribute to the Agency reform with the integration of all AirC2 organizational and functional elements, wherever they currently are in the NCI Agency structure, into one single service line, the Air Command and Control Programme Office and Services (AirC2 PO&S).
Goals and Objectives
Within the NCI Agency, the AirC2 PO&S addresses the complete lifecycle of procurement, fielding and operations & maintenance of the NATO ACCS as well as support to AirC2 peripheral and legacy systems, as required. The goal is to replace the intricate and complex stand-alone C2 structure which no longer meets requirements by integrated capabilities throughout NATO Europe and in operational theatres out of area.
For air command and control this means seamless planning and tasking, monitoring, control and execution of the full spectrum of air operations in Europe and beyond. One singular operational database, a common core software, open architecture and system wide uniform human-machine-interface are indispensable key objectives.
The ultimate goal, however, will be the realization of a single integrated Air and Missile Defence capability for NATO and the nations.
Programme governance is executed by the AirC2 Steering Committee under the Air and Missile Defence Committee. The AirC2SC is responsible for:
- Policy, planning, overall management of common funded ACCS projects;
- Coordination on integration of common funded & nationally funded ACCS projects;
- Coordination on interfaces between ACCS & other NATO/national C2 programmes;
- Approving system & sub-system specs;
- Liaison with NATO Military Authorities.
- 7 January 1991 – NATO ACCS Management Agency (NACMA) created with 38 people
- May 1994 – ACCS First Level of Operational Capability (LOC1) authorised
- Dec 1996 - Invitation for Bid issued
- Nov 1998 - Jun 1999 - Contract Negotiations
- Formation of a Programme Management Organization
- July 1999 - Contract Award to Air Command Systems International (a consortium led by Thales and Raytheon (TRS))
- Multiple reorganizations of NACMA and growth to 114 people in 2005
- 1 July 2012 - integration of NACMA with the NCI Agency
- 2012 – 2014 consolidation, rationalization, optimization
- 2014 Integration of procurement and maintenance activities