A NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force (NAGSF) RQ-4D drone completed its first mission over Finland, the Alliance’s newest member.
This mission took place as NATO Air Forces increase reconnaissance missions on the Alliance’s eastern borders in response to Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine. Since 2022, NATO’s fleet of Alliance Ground Surveillance drones has conducted numerous missions in the Black Sea region.
The flight on 13 September allowed NAGSF operators to become familiar with the new terrain. The RQ-4D drone, nicknamed “Phoenix,” is one of the world’s most advanced drones, providing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance over a broad area. NATO owns and operates the drone from Sigonella, Italy, and it can remain airborne for over 30 hours.
The data obtained through surveillance and reconnaissance is analyzed by NAGSF experts and shared with all NATO members to inform Alliance decision-making processes.