On Thursday (21 October 2021) NATO Defence Ministers discussed how to further strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence and defence, continuing NATO’s adaption to a more complex and competitive world. Ministers endorsed a new overarching plan to defend the Alliance in crisis and conflict. This will make sure NATO continues to have the right forces and capabilities, at the right place and at the right time, to protect our one billion people from any threat.
Ministers also agreed to the NATO capability targets which help to ensure the Alliance maintains credible deterrence and defence. Allies also reviewed progress in NATO’s response to the growing threat from Russia’s missile systems. Ministers also exchanged views on the lessons to be learned from NATO’s engagement in Afghanistan and how to preserve the gains made in the fight against terrorism.
Fifteen Allies deepen cooperation on Ground Based Air Defence
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).
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.