The Army and Northrop Grumman [NOC] have made substantial progress toward a major integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) demonstration planned to begin Oct. 24 at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
For the demonstration, Northrop Grumman will participate with IAMD Battle Command System (IBCS) software and hardware components to highlight critical capabilities tied to objectives established by warfighters.
IBCS will provide Air Defense Artillery (ADA) units one common battle command system for all Army air defense assets that are fully integrated with other Army and Joint IAMD systems.
“All IBCS components are in place for the IAMD demonstration and we look forward to helping the Army show how this open architecture, any sensor-any shooter system provides transformational capabilities while cutting total ownership costs,” said Linnie Haynesworth, vice president and general manager of Federal and Defense Technologies division for Northrop Grumman Information Systems. “We have released enhanced software, delivered tactical EOCs (engagement operations centers) and network relays.”
Haynesworth added: “We’ve also completed the first hands-on training for soldiers from Fort Bragg and Fort Bliss during a weeklong event at IBCS facilities in Huntsville.”
Northrop Grumman conducted training on IBCS operations for soldiers from the 108th ADA Brigade. Those soldiers will return with air defenders from the First Armored Division to participate in the IAMD demonstration.
“Having soldiers participate from our operational units, conducting operational scenarios on the IAMD tactical hardware is a big deal,” said Col. Robert Rasch, project manager, Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense Project Office. “For the first time, users will get to see the actual implementation of their vision for an integrated air and missile defense capability.”
The company delivered two tactical integrated fire control network relays and three dismounted relays that let IBCS interface with remote weapons and sensors. The relays extend the IBCS integrated fire control network across the battlefield, and enables IBCS to establish a highly mobile, self-forming ad hoc network.
Northrop Grumman also delivered three tactical and three dismounted air defense EOCs for the Army’s system integration laboratory. Each EOC is a shelter for IBCS computers and radios and the necessary environmental control and power components. The hardware has been integrated with IBCS version 2.1 software that includes the ability to directly connect with the launcher component for the network.
In addition to showcasing capabilities, the IAMD demonstration serves as the mechanism to begin developing detailed test plans, procedures, processes and data collection plans for upcoming developmental and operational testing. Furthermore, the demonstration will continue the direct involvement of operational warfighters in the design as part of the IBCS warfighter-centered development process.
The Army’s 2014 plans for development and operational testing include flight tests using the IBCS EOCs and relays 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. 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.