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The German Navy was with the F 125 frigate “Baden-Württemberg” for warm water testing in waters off Brazil, in order to use tropical climate tests to check the behavior of the systems with cooling requirements with regard to the required performance parameters.

When planning the test campaign, it became apparent that national satellite communication facilities (SATCOM) would not cover the test region. Support has therefore been requested from the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency). Within two weeks, the agency provided the required connectivity via NATO SatCom in the desired bandwidth for the period from March 7 to April 16, 2020, as the NCI Agency announced on May 26.

The NCI Agency was able to draw on existing resources that were made available on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that the agency had signed with four nations.

In order to respond positively to the request from the German Navy, the NATO agency worked with its main customer, the Allied Command Operations Command, to determine whether there was overcapacity that the Navy could use. The SATCOM space segment team in Mons, Belgium planned, calculated and then issued the satellite access authorization for the ship. She also took over the technical management of the project.

The special hardware for establishing the satellite connection was brought and installed by the agency's CIS Sustainment Support Center, the depot for CIS equipment to support ongoing global operations and planned NATO exercises, to the corresponding transmitting and receiving facilities.

This was not the first time that the agency has supported the German Navy. The NCI Agency is set to support NATO nations with similar requests in the future.

Gerhard Heiming