OREANDA-NEWSNATO opened the first Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system at the Sigonella Air Base in Italy. This was announced on Friday by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the official opening ceremony of the system on the island of Sicily. His speech was broadcast by the NATO press service.

"We are here to welcome the arrival of the first two unmanned aerial vehicles (RQ-4D Phoenix) [from the US] to observe the surface of the earth", he said. "it will allow observing the entire territory of the alliance and beyond - from the Arctic to the Sahel, from the Atlantic to Eastern Europe".

"These systems will allow in any weather to record and transmit data on movements on land and on the sea surface, and even detect mines and improvised explosive devices. Today, NATO filled the most important gap in its intelligence capabilities. Previously, only one NATO country had such intelligence systems (USA ), now all the states of the alliance will be able to operate them. The system will be staffed by 600 people, "said the Secretary General of the alliance.

He also emphasized that during the creation of the AGS system "the principles of acquiring the most modern military equipment" that all the states of the alliance ordered from the USA were improved and optimized.