NATO signs contract to update missile defense

NATO Communications and Information Agency signed a 136 million euro contract with ThalesRaytheonSystems on Thursday to upgrade its current theatre missile defense program.

The project, called ACCS Theatre Missile Defence 1, will bring new capabilities to NATO's Air Command and Control System, including updates for processing ballistic missile tracks, additional satellite and radar feeds, improvements to data communication and correlation features. The upgrade to its theatre missile defense command and control system will allow for the Alliance to connect national sensors and interceptors in defense against short and medium-range ballistic missiles. NATO's Air Command in Ramstein will also be upgraded for missile defense battle.

"The execution of this contract will be a major technical milestone forward for NATO's theatre missile defense," NATO's Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment Patrick Auroy said. "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."

The contract was signed at the Paris Air Show. Organizations from 8 nations and 15 industry partners across Europe and North America are involved in the project. It is NATO's largest security investment from multiple funders in 2013.

The project is expected to be complete by 2015.