A key decision has been taken for NATO's Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (ALTBMD) Programme. Marking a major milestone in Alliance efforts to field a "layered" theatre missile defence system providing protection for deployed NATO forces, a selection of an international consortium to build an Integration Test Bed puts NATO on track to have an initial operational capability by 2010.
The NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, Marshall Billingslea, announced today that a team of companies led by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) had launched a successful bid for the ALTBMD Programme System Engineering & Integration (SE & I) contract. The contract that will be awarded to the SAIC consortium is focused on the development of a NATO architecture for protection of deployed NATO forces from ballistic missile threats, and the design and installation of an ALTBMD Integration Test Bed (ITB). The winning consortium, led by SAIC from McLean from Virginia, U.S.A., is comprised of the following companies: Raytheon (US), EADS Astrium (Europe), Thales (FR) Thales Raytheon System Company (FR/US); IABG (GE), TNO (NL), Qinetiq (UK), DATAMAT (IT); Diehl (GE). Source selection was conducted using NATO International Competitive Bidding (ICB) procedures by the Alliance's Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) and the ALTBMD Programme Office, under the leadership of the ALTBMD Programme Manager, Michel Billard. The contract is worth approximately 75 Million Euro for work that will be conducted over a period of 6 years.
Welcoming this development, NATO's Assistant Secretary General, Marshall Billingslea, described the programme and the placing of the contract as an "excellent example of transatlantic armaments co-operation". "We look forward to partnering with SAIC and the other companies to build the first phase of this critical system. We urgently need a NATO theatre missile defense system to protect our troops against ballistic missiles. The Test Bed that SAIC will build is fundamental to the development of these defences. Further, I expect that this test bed, and our ALTBMD program, could serve as important building blocks for extending our defences to give even broader protection of NATO nations in the future."