The Army and Northrop Grumman [NOC] on Sept. 23 said they have successfully incorporated a key Patriot missile and Sentinel radar capabilities into the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS).

Under the direction of the IAMD Project Office, the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon [RTN], the Sentinel Project Office and Lockheed Martin [LMT] worked together to host the Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) and PAC-3 missile capability into the IBCS. 

This allows the Patriot family of interceptors to be launched and controlled by an IBCS engagement operations center in a net-centric approach.

The government-industry team also added the Sentinel radar to the IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network, validating the common open architecture-based approach to integrating sensors.

“The IBCS open architecture facilitates plugging disparate missiles and sensors into the Army’s integrated fire control network,” said Kelley Zelickson, vice president of air and missile defense systems for Northrop Grumman Information Systems. “Thus, in addition to affordable integration and expanded capability, IBCS provides the Army with alternatives to buying or upgrading unique command and control systems when it desires to incorporate new missile or sensor components.”

Northrop Grumman will participate with IBCS in an Army IAMD demonstration planned for the fourth quarter of 2013 at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. The demonstration is a snapshot of IBCS capabilities in the development process and will show integrated Sentinel and Patriot battle command operations. Development and operational testing planned by the Army to begin in 2014 includes testing the IBCS capability to direct the firing of Army IAMD weapons at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.  

The IBCS program resulted from analysis of Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom operations to improve mission command as a top priority.

Subcontractor Boeing [BA] recently finished delivering more than 40 Plug and Fight Processing Units that will support an integrated network of computer and communication equipment critical to Army air and missile defenses. The units are the main computing assets that link together various Army weapons and sensor platforms with the IBCS. 

"By providing a centralized, secure processing architecture from which to manage data, these processing units will play a significant role in enhancing the effectiveness of the Army’s network of missile defense sensors and weapon systems," said Allan Brown, vice president and program director with Boeing Strategic Missile & Defense Systems.

Boeing’s units will support the IBCS by efficiently processing a high volume of information exchanged among the various components in the Plug and Fight network. This technology supports IBCS objectives for enhanced situational awareness and command and control on the battlefield, improved response time, and reduced costs.

Northrop Grumman will use the processors in system demonstrations later this year, in anticipation of transitioning to the test and integration phase of the program.

By implementing an open, network-centric, system-of-systems solution, IBCS optimizes battle management command and control and significantly improves cost effectiveness and flexibility. IBCS uses an enterprise, plug-and-fight approach to ensure that current and future sensors and weapon systems can be easily incorporated, allowing warfighters to take advantage of integrated Army and joint capabilities. The IBCS program also focuses on warfighter decision processes and tools to ensure intuitive situational understanding for time-critical engagements.

Northrop Grumman’s IBCS industry team includes Boeing [BA], Lockheed Martin, Harris [HRS], Schafer Corp., nLogic Inc., Numerica Corp., Colsa Corp., EpiQ Inc., Space and Mission DefenseTechnologiesCohesionForce Inc., Daniel H Wagner AssociatesQtec Inc., RhinoCorps,Tobyhanna Army DepotUltra Electronics Advanced, Sparta Inc.Instrumental Sciences Inc., Intelligent Systems Research Inc., 4M Research Inc. and Cummings Aerospace Inc.