The NATO Integrated Air Defense System (short: NATINADS) is a command and control network combining radars and other facilities spread throughout the NATO alliance's air defence forces. It formed in the mid-1950s and became operational in 1962 as NADGE. It has been constantly upgraded since its formation, notably with the integration of Airborne Early Warning aircraft in the 1970s. The United Kingdom maintained its own network, but was fully integrated with the network since the introduction of the Linesman/Mediator network in the 1970s. Similarly, the German network maintained an independent nature through GEADGE.
Development was approved by the NATO Military Committee in December 1955. The system was to be based on four air defense regions (ADRs) coordinated by SACEUR (Supreme Allied Commander Europe). Starting from 1956 early warning coverage was extended across Western Europe using 18 radar stations. This part of the system was completed by 1962. Linked to existing national radar sites the coordinated system was called the NATO Air Defence Ground Environment (NADGE).
From 1960 NATO countries agreed to place all their air defence forces under the command of SACEUR in the event of war. These forces included command & control (C2) systems, radar installations, and Surface-to-Air (SAM) missile units as well as interceptor aircraft.
By 1972 NADGE was converted into NATINADS consisting of 84 radar sites and associated Control Reporting Centers (CRC) and in the 1980s the Airborne Early Warning / Ground Environment Integration Segment (AEGIS) upgraded the NATINADS with the possibility to integrate the AWACS radar picture and all of its information into its visual displays. (NOTE: This AEGIS is not to be confused with the U.S.Navy AEGIS, a shipboard fire control radar and weapons system.) AEGIS processed the information through Hughes H5118ME computers, which replaced the H3118M computers installed at NADGE sites in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
NATINADS ability to handle data increased with faster clock rates. The H5118M computer had a staggering 1 megabyte of memory and could handle 1.2 million instructions per second while the former model had a memory of only 256 kilobytes and a clock speed of 150,000 instructions per seconds.
NATINADS/AEGIS were complemented, in West Germany by the German Air Defence Ground Environment (GEADGE), an updated radar network adding the southern part of Germany to the European system and Coastal Radar Integration System (CRIS), adding data links from Danish coastal radars.
In order to counter the hardware obsolescence, during the mid-1990s NATO started the AEGIS Site Emulator (ASE) program allowing the NATINADS/AEGIS sites to replace the proprietary hardware (the 5118ME computer and the various operator consoles IDM-2, HMD-22, IDM-80) with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) servers and workstations.
In the first years 2000, the initial ASE capability was expanded with the possibility to run, thanks to the new hardware power, multiple site emulators on the same hardware, so the system was renamed into Multi-AEGIS Site Emulator (MASE). The NATO system designed to replace MASE in the near future is the Air Command and Control System (ACCS).
Because of changing politics, NATO expanding and financial crises most European (NATO) countries are trying to cut defence budgets; as a direct result, many obsolete and outdated NATINADS facilities are phased out earlier. As of 2013, operational NATO radar sites in Europe are as follows:
The Belgian Air Component's Control and Reporting Centre was based at Glons, where also its main radar was located. The radar was deactivated in 2015 and the Centre moved to Beauvechain Air Base in 2020. The Belgian Control and Reporting Centre reports to CAOC Uedem in Germany and is also responsible for guarding the airspace of Luxembourg. At the new location the Control and Reporting Centre uses digital radar data of the civilian radars of Belgocontrol and the Marconi S-723 radar of the Air Component's Air Traffic Control Centre in Semmerzake.
The Bulgarian Air Force's Air Sovereignty Operations Centre is located in Sofia and reports to CAOC Torrejón. The Bulgarian Air Force fields three control and surveillance zones, which operate obsolete Soviet-era radars. The Bulgarian Air Force intends to replace these radars with fewer, but more capable Western 3-D radars as soon as possible. The future locations of the new radars are as of 2018 unknown.
French Air and Space Force radar stations Radar station with GM 406 Command and Control Centre
The French Air and Space Force's Air Operations Centre is located at Mont Verdun Air Base and reports to CAOC Uedem. Most French radar sites use the PALMIER radar, which is being taken out of service. By 2022 all PALMIER radars will have been replaced with new radar stations using the GM 403 radar.
German Air Force radar stations Radar station with HADR Radar station with GM 406F Radar station with RRP-117 Control and Reporting Centre
The German Air Force's Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC 2) in Uedem was deactivated in 2008 and reactivated as CAOC Uedem in 2013. CAOC Uedem is responsible for the NATO airspace North of the Alps. The HADR radars are a variant of the HR-3000 radar, while the RRP-117 radars are a variant of the AN/FPS-117.
Air Operations Centre (Zentrum Luftoperationen der Luftwaffe) (NATO CAOC Uedem), in Uedem
Control and Reporting Centre 2 (Einsatzführungsbereich 2), in Erndtebrück
Remote Radar Post 354 "Blackmoor", in Döbern with RRP-117
Remote Radar Post 355 "Royal Flash", in Gleina with RRP-117
Remote Radar Post 357 "", on Döbraberg with RRP-117
Remote Radar Post 358 "Snow Cap", on Großer Arber with RRP-117
1st Area Control Centre, inside Mount Chortiatis, with Marconi S-743D
2nd Area Control Centre, inside Mount Parnitha, with Marconi S-743D
9th Control and Warning Station Squadron, on Mount Pelion, with Marconi S-743D
10th Control and Warning Station Squadron, on Mount Chortiatis, with Marconi S-743D
Hungarian Air Force radar stations Radar station with RAT-31DL Command and Control Centre
The Hungarian Air Force's Air Operations Centre is located in Veszprém and reports to CAOC Uedem. There are additional three radar companies with Soviet-era equipment subordinate to the 54th Radar Regiment "Veszprém", however it is unclear if they will remain in service once Hungary's newest radar at Medina reaches full operational capability.
Royal Norwegian Air Force radar stations Radar station with RAT-31SL/N Radar station with SINDRE I Control and Reporting Centre
The Royal Norwegian Air Force's Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC 3) in Reitan was deactivated in 2008 and its responsibilities were transferred to the Combined Air Operations Centre Finderup (CAOC F). After CAOC F was deactivated in 2013 the responsibility for the air defense of Norway was transferred to CAOC Uedem in Germany and the Royal Norwegian Air Force's Control and Reporting Centre in Sørreisa reports to it. Until 2016 the Royal Norwegian Air Force's radar installations were distributed between two CRCs. That year the CRC Mågerø was disbanded. In its place a wartime mobilization back-up CRC has been formed with a reduction in personnel from the around active 170 duty to about 50 air force home guardsmen. The SINDRE I radars are a variant of the HR-3000 radar, which is also used in the German HADR radars. The newer RAT-31SL/N radars are sometimes designated SINDRE II.
Polish Air Force radar stations Radar station with NUR-12M Radar station with RAT-31DL Radiotechnical Battalion Command and Control Centre
The Polish Armed Forces Operational Command's Air Operations Centre is located in the Warsaw-Pyry neighborhood and reports to CAOC Uedem. The 3rd Wrocław Radiotechnical Brigade is responsible for the operation of the Armed Forces radar equipment. As of 2021 the Polish Air Force possesses three NUR-12M and three RAT-31DL long-range radars making up BACKBONE system, which are listed below.
Romanian Air Force radar stations Radar station with AN/FPS-117(V) Control and Reporting Centre
The Romanian Air Force's Air Operations Centre is headquartered in Bucharest and reports to CAOC Torrejón. The radar station in Bârnova is officially designated and operated as a civilian radar station, however its data is fed into the military air surveillance system.
Radar Station, on Muntele Mare, with AN/FPS-117(V)
Civil/Military Radar Station, in Bârnova, with AN/FPS-117(V)
The Slovak Air Force's Air Operations Centre is located at Sliač Air Base and reports to CAOC Uedem. The Slovak Air Force still operates obsolete Soviet-era radars, which it intends to replace with fewer, but more capable Western 3-D radars as soon as possible. The future locations of the new radars are as of 2018 unknown.