Accompanied by Admiral Manfred Nielson, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, and Lieutenant General Thomas Sharpy, Deputy Chief of Staff for Capability Development at Allied Command Transformation, the delegation visited the Paris Air show in Le Bourget, the world's premier and largest event dedicated to aviation and space industry.
They met with industry representatives, engineers and subject matter experts to discuss several topics high on Allied Command Transformation’s innovation agenda, such as hypervelocity, Air Command and Control System, Command and Control as well as connectivity, interoperability and digital factory.
Allied Command Transformation’s program of work is heavily focussed on the topics and a constant connection with industry is key to maintaining a steady pace in order to steer NATO innovation efforts in the right direction. Interoperability and connectivity, as examples, are currently being tested in Bydgoszcz, Poland during NATO’s premier interoperability event, the Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXercise or CWIX.
The highlight of the Paris Air Show was the presentation of the full-scale mock-ups of the New Generation Fighter and Remote Carrier, which are elements of the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF).
Allied Command Transformation’s delegation also met with the French Chief of the Defense Staff, Général François Lecointre, and a large panel of French ministry of defense experts to discuss Allied Command Transformation’s role in the capabilities development cycle, the NATO Defense Planning Process, NATO Command Structure adaptation, military innovation and experimentation, and the crucial role of NATO’s Centres of Excellence.
Operational matters were also reviewed, through a presentation of the French Centre of Operations, the operational headquarters in charge of all French military commitments in Africa, the Alliance’s eastern flank and Europe. Special consideration was granted to NATO and European Union commitments.
Touching upon technology, the delegation visited the French center for defence capability Analysis, the CATOD, and French Innovation Agency, with a review of the need for a comprehensive approach that takes into account innovation and the widening spectrum of in-service equipment, as well as new ways to operate the technical-operational battle lab.
An extremely fruitful series of engagements for Allied Command Transformation’s leadership, which will help charting the future of NATO’s innovation and tackle the challenges that lie ahead.