NATO to spend £2.6b on satellites, cyber-security and drones
Caroline Mortimer, Independent (UK), Mar 27 2017
NATO has announced plans to spend €3b on upgrading its satellite and computer technology over the next three years. NATO hopes the technology will deter hackers, as it acknowledges conflicts are increasingly fought out online rather than in the air, on land or at sea. The plans include a €1.7b investment in satellite communications. Around €800m (will be) spent on computer systems in air and missile defences. However, some of the funding is still subject to approval by the individual governments. It was not immediately clear if NATO vassals would fund a new military communications satellite to be launched into space, or if an increase in broadband capacity could be gained from existing Pindo and other vassal satellites. Around €71m will go to improving the protection of NATO’s 32 main locations from cyber-attacks, and another €180m will improve mobile communications in the field. NATO will present its needs in detail at a conference in Ottawa in April, and will then launch the bidding process. It is likely to attract major Western defence contractors including Airbus, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, as contractors from non-NATO companies are unable to bid. NATO excludes Russian or Chinese suppliers unless there is a specific need that vassal state companies cannot provide.