NATO nations deepen cooperation on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance

In the spirit of “smart defence”, nine Nations have launched at the end of February a five-year project that will significantly boost the Alliance’s ability to tackle new challenges such as piracy by rapidly sharing imagery and other information from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets.

Under the agreement, technology that is currently being successfully used in Afghanistan will be further developed and applied in a wider context. This will make it easier and faster for Nations to share imagery from high-priced assets, such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, surveillance aircraft and other such assets, as and when necessary.“These assets – and their deployment – are very expensive,” said Lieutenant Colonel Arle Brustad of Norway, Chairman of the nine-Nation project team. “By rapidly sharing imagery, we can avoid having multiple assets deployed in the same location, cover a significantly larger area, or cover a specific area for a longer period. In effect, what we get is more intelligence for our Euro.

The NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) is a customer funded agency and, as a part of the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Organization (NC3O), reports to the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Board (NC3B).

The agency comprises around 700 staff, of which around 500 are located in The Hague and 200 in Brussels. In 2008, the procurement of NC3A for NATO amounted to some 300 million Euros.

The Agency is organized using a balanced matrix model, with four main areas: the Production area, Sponsor Accounts, Core Segment and Resources Division. The Production area comprises nine Capability Area Teams (CATs) under the Director of Production (DOP) within which projects are executed with each CAT defined according to its area of expertise.

The agency is the lead NATO body for the acquisition and development of Consultation, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities in support of NATO missions and operations.