NATO has contracted SAIC and Thales Raytheon Systems to field enhanced theatre missile defence capability by the end of 2010.

Under the contracts, the companies will plan and direct tactical ballistic missile defence operations to protect deployed Nato forces.

Step 2 of the interim capability (InCa) provides a real-time picture of missile defence operations and enables quick coordination between defences to improve the planning capability of the air defence commander.

InCa is an integrated deployable missile defence system that uses Nato air command and control systems software during operations.

Design tests will be carried out in July at Royal Netherlands Air Force Base De Peel and the capability will be delivered to Nato commanders by the end of this year.

The contracts are part of the Nato active layered theatre ballistic missile defence (ALTBMD) programme.