Belgium - Selling to NATO
Last Published: 6/28/2019
NATO purchases anywhere between $2 to $4 billion worth of products and services each year.  A large portion of this falls under NATO’s Security and Investment Program or NSIP.  It is the NATO common funding program, investing in infrastructure.  The Program finances the provisions and facilities needed to support NATO Strategic Commands.  The investments cover communications and information systems, radar, military headquarters, airfields, fuel pipelines and storage, harbors, and navigational aids.  It also includes Peace Support Operations such as NATO Stabilization Force (SFOR) and NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) including communications, information systems, local headquarters facilities, power systems, and repairs to airfields, rail, and roads.

This budget is supplemented by NATO’s Military Budget which covers the International Military Staff, the two NATO Strategic Commands and associated command, control and information systems, research and development agencies, procurement and logistics agencies, and the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force.   

Funded by the above budgets and other external sources, NATO procures goods and services mainly through two acquisition agencies: NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI-A) and NATO Support Agency (NSPA). 

Over the past years, NATO has been overhauling and streamlining its acquisition agencies.  Fourteen agencies, all accredited to procure, have been amalgamated into two main acquisition agencies: NCI-A and NSPA.  The agencies account for over 80% of NATO procurement. NCI-A, or NATO Computer Information Agency is the principal agency involved in the research and development, procurement and implementation of Consultation, Command and Control within NATO.  NCI-A procures technology that can support the objectives of its NATO member nations, partner nations, and Crisis Response Operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo for example.

NSPA, located in Luxembourg, is the main logistics agency for NATO.  It provides logistic services in support of weapon and equipment systems held in common by NATO nations, in order to promote materiel readiness, to improve the efficiency of logistic operations and to effect savings through consolidated procurement in the areas of supply, maintenance, calibration, procurement, transportation, technical support, engineering services and configuration management.

Both agencies procure goods and services through preferred suppliers and International Competitive Bidding (ICB) for larger projects  NCI-A and NSPA’s suppliers’ lists are respectively known as the Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) and the Source File.  Procurement contracts, though smaller than ICBs, can reach up to $5 million.  U.S. companies interested in being added to the BOA and/or Source File should contact Ira Bel at the U.S. Commercial Service in Belgium for assistance.  U.S. companies interested in tracking and bidding on ICBs should monitor Commerce’s bulletin board recapping NATO opportunities:

We expect NATO to focus on the purchase of information technology security software with a focus on information assurance and services, cybersecurity, auditing and business management services, and logistical solutions enhancing deployability.

The next few years should see a spike in IT spending reaching an additional $3 billion, notably to replace the AWACS system with a new “Systems of Systems” employing a variety of air, land, see and satellite technologies. The program, Alliance Future Surveillance and Command, of AFSC, is in its infancy but the related industry days have already begun.  For more information, see here:

Key Links:
For NATO procurement specific videos, see:
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