NATO has awarded a $180 million contract to Thales Raytheon Systems for work that will enhance the alliance's existing capacity to neutralize theater-level missile threats, United Press International reported on Friday.
The defense firm said its contract will enhance NATO's Air Command and Control, which is located in Ramstein, Germany, by fusing more satellites and radars into the system and bolstering the technology's ability to handle and transmit data. Thales Raytheon early last year was awarded a smaller contract to supply technical support for the alliance's interim antimissile capability.
"This new component of the [Air Command and Control system] will constitute, once achieved, a real asset for NATO, bringing the organization access to both air defense and ballistic missile defense capabilities," NATO Communication and Information Agency General Manager Koen Gijsbers said.
The contract is anticipated to be finished no later than 2015 and is the alliance's biggest jointly financed defense investment for this year, according to RTT News.
"The execution of this contract will be a major technical milestone forward for NATO's theater missile defense," NATO Assistant Secretary-General Patrick Auroy said in provided comments. "This contract links two of NATO's largest common funded investments -- air and missile defense -- paving the way for an integrated approach. What is important now is its timely execution."