During the Istanbul Summit in 2004, NATO leaders identified the need for a Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD) program aimed at protecting NATO deployed forces.

Later, at the Lisbon Summit held in 2010, NATO made the decision to expand the program to enhance collective defense by including NATO European populations, territory and forces.

This need materialized in 2011 when ThalesRaytheonSystems was awarded a contract to deliver the Air Command and Control System (ACCS) Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) component of NATO’s Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense (ALTBMD) Capability.

The goal was to use ACCS First Level of Operational Capacity 1 (LOC1) program that was already in development as a building block to include additional capabilities.

This laid the groundwork for the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) and TRS to come to a series of agreements for the incremental delivery of ACCS TMD throughout three major increments.

To deliver the additional mission-critical capabilities NATO needed, TRS collaborated with a team of 15 industrial partners with a proven track record. These capabilities enabled the Alliance to rely on sensors and national interceptors, real-time and organization-wide management and coverage, air and missile track processing, dissemination, classification, display and alerting. It also provides weapon system status to increase situational awareness, engagement, monitoring and control.

The NATO Steadfast Alliance exercise held in April 2016 served to put the entire BMD system to the test, from crisis simulation to the interception of missiles. Ballistic missile defense operations cell operators used ACCS TMD1 to track short range ballistic missiles and their interception by national BMD systems taking part in the exercise (SEW, Aegis, Patriot and SAMP/T) and stop their course based on the information available.

This exercise clearly demonstrated ACCS TMD1’ Ballistic Missile Defense Initial Operational Capability, supporting declarations made in July 2016 during the NATO Warsaw Summit.

In June 2016, the NCIA and TRS have signed a Provisional System Acceptation (PSA) for the Defense Design System (DDS) of ACCS TMD1, further confirming that the system is ready for operational use and capable of entering the maintenance phase. This agreement will enable the NATO HQ AIRCOM to create, modify and analyze the deployment of NATO BMD detection and interception capabilities.

The achievements that have been completed to reach full BMD capability bear testament to NATO’s position as a strong partner that have been forged since over a decade along with ThalesRaytheonSystems’ willingness and ability to continue enhancing the capabilities of ACCS to face future threats.