Home  /  About us  /  Newsroom  /  Ku-Band Satellite communication for Alliance Ground Surveillance

11 22 2016

Ku-Band Satellite communication for Alliance Ground Surveillance

The Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of Luxembourg Etienne Schneider and Patrick Biewer, Chief Executive Officer of GovSat, have signed a contract on the provision of satellite communication services.

This service-based contract covers an initial period of five years and encompasses both satellite capacity in commercial Ku-band and capacity management services for a full end-to-end service provided by GovSat personnel embedded with the NAGSF (NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance Force) in Sigonella, Italy.

It includes a ramp-up phase with additional options for larger volume and coverage capacity. Further options to be exercised at the discretion of the Purchaser, would extend the period of the services for up to another five years.

This contract constitutes an important milestone in the timely support of Luxembourg and NATO Communications and Information Agency to the operation of NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance.

Minister Schneider highlighted that Luxembourg is thus responding to essential NATO needs in the area of Joint Information, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and of Satellite Communication. He stressed: "By providing part of the needed satellite capacity of the AGS programme, Luxembourg shows its commitment and solidarity as a NATO Ally and contributes to the NATO requirements that enable the Alliance to respond to the current and future security challenges. Luxembourg's voluntary national contribution comes at no cost for NATO and represents a new and alternative way of providing capabilities to NATO."

The NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) capability is set to become operational in 2017. The NATO AGS Core System consists of Air Segments, Ground Segments and Support Segments. The AGS Core Air Segments include the Global Hawk Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) entities and the UAV Command and Control (C2) entities. The AGS Core Ground Segments are composed of the Main Operating Base located at Sigonella, Italy, Transportable General Ground Stations, and Mobile General Ground Stations. To support its missions, AGS will use satellite capacities such as Ku-Band, Inmarsat and UHF Band as a mean of communication to pilot but also exchange data between the various Segments.

"The award of this contract confirms the capability of GovSat to address the secure communication requirements of a NATO defence program, including the handling of sensitive and classified material. GovSat is now de-facto operational in the defence segment, well ahead of the GovSat-1 satellite launch" said Patrick Biewer, CEO, Govsat.

Ku-Band Satellite communication for Alliance Ground Surveillance


In 2015, Luxembourg Authorities proposed to the other NATO Nations to provide the commercial Ku-Band capacity as a national voluntary contribution to the AGS programme over a period of 10 years.

This proposition was approved at the Investment Committee level and Luxembourg began discussions with both the Supreme Headquarters Allied Power in Europe (SHAPE) representing the user community (NAGSF) and the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency). These discussions have resulted in the successful signature of two major agreements between Luxembourg, GovSat, SHAPE and NCI Agency.