A321 Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS)
The Transatlantic Industrial Proposed Solution (TIPS) is a transatlantic industrial response to provide NATO with an Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) core capability that meets NATO's staff requirements, is consistent with the North Atlantic Council's and Conference of National Armament Directors' decisions and supports NATO's transformational capabilities objectives. On 16 April 2004 the NATO Conference of National Armaments Directors endorsed an earlier decision of the Alliance Ground Surveillance Steering Committee to move forward expeditiously towards the signing of a contract, by Spring 2005, with the Transatlantic Industrial Proposed Solution (TIPS) consortium.
The objective of TIPS is to respond to the mandate issued at the September 2002 Reinforced meeting of the North Atlantic Council by providing NATO with an affordable, six-aircraft fleet. It will provide the minimum essential NATO-owned and -operated AGS core capability by 2010. This core capability could be complemented by an array of fully interoperable NATO member nations owned surveillance assets, including helicopters and manned/unmanned air vehicles.
The TIPS system-of-systems approach centers on a mixed-fleet approach based on the Transatlantic Cooperative AGS Radar, integrated onboard a manned A321 midsize aircraft and a High-Altitude Long-Endurance Unmanned Air Vehicle.
The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family. It offers the best seat-mile costs of any single-aisle aircraft and is even on a par with widebody efficiency, bringing a new dimension to profitability. Together or individually, the members of the A320 Family make up the world's most profitable single-aisle family ever. The A321 accommodates 185 passengers in a two-class configuration over a range of up to 3,000nm/5,550km, and up to 220 passengers in a high-density configuration. It can be powered by CFM56-5 or IAE V2500 engines.
Launched in 1984, the A320 entered airline service in April 1988 and rapidly established itself as the industry standard for passenger comfort and economy on short and medium-haul routes. Typically seating 150 passengers in two classes with a range of up to 5,700km/3,050nm, the A320 is in widespread service on six continents, flying routes that range from short European commuter sectors, through European charter operations to coast-to-coast US flights. Entering service in early 1994, the A321 seats 185 passengers in two classes and has a range of up to 5,600km/3,000nm.
The twin-engine A321 can be powered by either CFM International CFM56 or International Aero Engines V2500 engines. Fly-by-wire is an electronically managed flight control system, which uses computers to make aircraft easier to handle while further enhancing safety. First introduced on a commercial jetliner on the Airbus A320 in 1988, it has become an industry standard.
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