(L-R) Thomas Barrett, US Ambassador to Luxembourg ; François Bausch, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence ; Stacy Cummings, NSPA General Manager; Credit: MAEE

On Monday 31 October 2022, Luxembourg's Directorate of Defence and the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) announced that Luxembourg and the United States have established a Global Commercially Contracted Satellite Communications Support Partnership (GCC SATCOM SP).

The GCC SATCOM SP enables participating nations to jointly manage, through the NSPA, a full range of satellite communications services, generating synergies and economies of scale not achievable solely through national contracting processes. The GCC SATCOM SP is governed by a committee, which held its first meeting in Luxembourg this week.

The GCC SATCOM SP provides a framework for additional Allies to participate in the future, thus reducing costs and contributing to the Alliance's strength and resilience.

Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, François Bausch, said: "Over the last decade, Space has become a crucial field in defence. In order to keep the upper hand, we constantly have to adapt to rapidly changing requirements, technologies and threats in and from space. This new NSPA GCC SATCOM Support Partnership allows for 'pooling and sharing' of space capabilities and thus strengthens NATO and cooperation between Allies. By creating this partnership, Luxembourg and the United States are setting the framework for a future multinational partnership in the field of satellite communications. Luxembourg is asserting itself as a committed and solidary actor in favour of acting multilaterally."

The US Ambassador to Luxembourg, Tom Barrett, said: "The establishment of the GCC SATCOM SP by the United States and Luxembourg enhances NATO's space capabilities and is another demonstration of our commitment to the Alliance. The partnership elevates the already strong defense and space cooperation between the US and Luxembourg and solidifies our leadership in the space field. As the importance of space to NATO's defence and deterrence strategy continues to grow, cooperation and further investments in the area are vital. With this partnership, we pave the way for both."

The NSPA General Manager, Stacy A Cummings, stated: "SPA enables NATO and Allied Nations to obtain relevant defence capabilities across all military domains. Multi-national, multi-year acquisition programmes, through collaborative frameworks such as our Support Partnerships, support commonality and interoperability while providing economies of scale. With the establishment of the GCC SATCOM SP by the United States and Luxembourg, we proudly achieve another milestone in our support to the Alliance."