The parties behind the Danish Defence Agreement 2010-2014 made a joint decision today that Denmark will re-enter the acquisition phase of the NATO AGS project. The decision will be announced at the NATO summit in Chicago 19-21 May 2012.

The AGS is an advanced system of surveillance and reconnaissance with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), also known as drones, applicable in the planning and implementation of military and civilian operations.

With today's decision, the political parties behind the defence agreement demonstrate their firm intention to support the NATO ‘Smart Defence’ initiative and the transatlantic cooperation. This is a clear demonstration by he parties to the defence agreement that Denmark will continue to be a strong NATO supporter.

Since the parties to the defence agreement decided in 2010 that Denmark should withdraw from the project, various conditions have changed.

The decision of a Danish withdrawal from the AGS project was primarily based on considerations regarding the economic situation and a desire to improve the consistency between means and ends in the Danish defence. Now such a consistency has been established as a result of a significantly strengthened financial management of the Danish defence.

At the same time experience from the NATO-led operation in Libya shows that especially surveillance and reconnaissance capacities are vital in order to secure the most exact target designation possible, thereby also helping reduce civilian casualties.

Moreover, the general trend in many NATO countries with declining defence budgets requires a higher degree of cooperation by the nations on acquisition of the capacities needed to counter existing and future security policy challenges. NATO labels this ‘Smart Defence’. This is particularly valid in relation to more specialized types of capacities – such as the AGS – which only few countries will be able to provide on their own.

Denmark's rejoining the AGS project is funded by the reduction of consumption of the Danish defence in 2011. It will not affect already determined defence procurements, as stated in the Defence Agreement 2010-14.