17 August 2020, Sigonella, ITALY
In the morning of August 13, 2020, a NATO RQ-4D “Phoenix” launched from the main runway at Sigonella Air Base for the eighth NATO AGS mission in the Mediterranean, controlled by NATO AGS Force pilots from the NATO AGS Mission Operation Support Centre at Sigonella.
The remotely-piloted aircraft collected both Ground Movement Target Indicator (GMTI) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data during the flight. The collected data was transmitted in near-real time to the NATO AGS Force’s Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination Centre where specialists work on it to share results and products with all Allies.
“Each flight improves the NATO AGS Force‘s operational capabilities“
“Each flight improves the NATO AGS Force‘s operational capabilities and we continue to expand our operational envelope with each subsequent flight,” said Brigadier General Houston Cantwell, Commander of the NATO AGS Force underscoring the achievements made with this emerging NATO capability in the field of indications and warnings.
Throughout the 12-hour flight, pilots at the NATO AGS FORCE‘s Operations Centre controlled the aircraft via pre-programmed flight path from takeoff until landing at Sigonella. A team of industry contractors and military maintainers also provided timely assistance with degraded aircraft systems when required.
Story by NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force Public Affairs Office; Photo: Christian Timmig