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NATO GBAD ~ Fifteen Allies Deepen Cooperation

British Army dismounted MBDA Land Ceptor ~ aka CAMM or Common Anti-Air Modular Missile ~ air defence system launcher at MSPO 2021 in Poland [©Bob Morrison]

Fifteen NATO Allies have reaffirmed their commitment to deepen cooperation on GBAD (Ground Based Air Defence) capabilities.


NATO Press Release, Brussels, 21 October 2021: Defence Ministers from 15 NATO Allies reaffirmed their commitment to multinationally develop, acquire and deliver Ground Based Air Defence capabilities, which will protect Allied personnel, equipment and facilities from air based threats. This was done in the margins of the NATO Defence Ministers Meeting on 21 October 2021.

“By increasing cooperation among Allies, continually improving our capabilities, and responding to challenges we make the transatlantic region safer and more prepared to face any threat,” said NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană at the signing event.

There, new participants joined two recently launched High Visibility Projects (HVP) – the ‘Modular GBAD’ project and the ‘Rapidly Deployable Mobile C-RAM’ initiative – as well as the launch of a new undertaking, the ‘Command and Control capability for surface-based air and missile defence for the battalion and brigade level’ (GBAD C2 Layer).

Ageing US Army convoy protection AVENGER SHORAD launcher crossing a ribbon bridge over the Danube during Exercise SABER GUARDIAN 2019 [©BM]

The Modular GBAD participants (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom) welcomed Norway, Poland, Portugal and the United States to the project. It aims to acquire and field a modular solution for very short range, short range and medium range ground-based air defence. This capability will offer Allies a modular solution, built around a command and control module and the option to connect different effectors for the covered threats. The plug-and-play capability will give Allies the option to exchange, add or remove effectors seamlessly according to the threats they are facing.

For the second project, the Rapidly Deployable C-RAM, Norway, Poland and the United States joined Germany, Greece, Hungary, and the UK. This project aims to develop and deliver a capability to protect Allied forces from rockets, artillery and mortar threats. A particular focus of this project will be on potential solutions through innovative approaches, such as direct energy based capabilities.

Finally, six Allies – Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the UK and the US – started a new initiative to commonly acquire and field a Command and Control capability for surface based air and missile defence for the battalion and brigade level (GBAD C2 Layer). Over the coming months, experts from the participating nations will identify potential solutions for a fire distribution centre. The multinational approach will decrease the variety of systems used and simultaneously increase the interoperability between participating Allies and the operational readiness of NATO GBAD forces.


Capable but ageing legacy British Army Stormer HVM air defence system deployed on Operation CABRIT in Estonia, early summer 2019 [© Bob Morrison]
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