On 15 February, the Minister of Defence, François Bausch, signed a Letter of Intent concerning the Alliance Persistent Surveillance from Space (APSS). In December 2022, Luxembourg contributed 16.5 million euros to this NATO-initiated project to enable the development of this capability, which will improve situational awareness on the ground, particularly during conflicts.
Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine has highlighted the importance of the space domain and its situational awareness capabilities in various areas of operations, whether on the ground, at sea or in the air. These capabilities are essential to the conduct of Alliance operations, missions and activities. The new Alliance Persistent Surveillance from Space capability, for which 18 Allies have signed a Letter of Intent, is the largest multinational space project in NATO's history.
The aim of APSS is to create a virtual constellation of national and commercial space assets to improve situational awareness and understanding of the Earth. Cooperation among the 18 signatory nations will not only allow for more efficient burden sharing and use of resources, but will also enhance the Alliance's ability to obtain Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets.
APSS marks a crucial step in the development of NATO's space domain. It will allow NATO to engage more closely with the commercial space sector, which is developing advanced technologies for ISR and other purposes.
By signing this letter of intent, the Directorate of Defence is reaffirming its willingness to invest in this very important area, in particular by making the resources of LUXEOSys available to NATO. "Luxembourg's contribution of 16.5 million euros will facilitate the development of this new multinational capability. Sharing and pooling our resources means being more efficient and effective in the field of surveillance," concluded François Bausch.
Press release by the Directorate of Defence