The Army’s new Northrop Grumman [NOC]-built Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) has achieved initial operational capability (IOC), the company announced Monday. 

The IOC milestone designates that IBCS meets objective capabilities required for the platform and follows the recent approval to move the platform into full-rate production.

The IBCS provides a common mission command and sensor/weapon integration network for all Army AMD echelons that improves protection against threats in complex integrated attack scenarios. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

“With this declaration, the system is now ready to be fielded to Army units to further support the development of the system’s capabilities,” Northrop Grumman said in a statement. “IBCS is the cornerstone of the Army’s air and missile defense modernization strategy, replacing the multiple current air and missile defense command and control systems with a single system.”

IBCS is the U.S. Army’s future missile defense command platform, designed to integrate and connect the service’s full range of “sensor to shooter” capabilities, with the service planning to field to the first unit by the end of FY ‘24.

The Army in December 2021 awarded Northrop Grumman a potential $1.4 billion deal for IBCS low-rate production (Defense Daily, Dec. 23 2021).

The Defense Acquisition Board (DAB), led by DoD acquisition executive Bill LaPlante, signed off on the full-rate production milestone for IBCS last month, which followed the completion of initial operational test and evaluation in fall 2022 (Defense Daily, April 12). 

“The system has completed rigorous and demanding Initial Operational Test and Evaluation and numerous successful development and operational flight tests,” Northrop Grumman said. “During these demanding assessments, IBCS demonstrated its ability to deliver decision-quality fire control data across joint networks, increasing situational awareness and time for decision making.”

Next steps for the IBCS will include finalizing the production and delivery schedule for the Army as the program moves toward achieving a full operational capability milestone. 

Poland, the first international customer for IBCS, is set to reach a base operational capability with the system by the end of the summer, a Northrop Grumman official told reporters during a recent visit to the company’s manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Alabama.