By Ann Roosevelt

Northrop Grumman [NOC] and Raytheon [RTN] this month submitted separate bids for prime contractor work on Phase II of the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) competition.

Northrop Grumman and Raytheon each were awarded an 11-month Phase I contract in September 2008 to begin preliminary design and development. The Army is expected to choose a single contracting team in August.

IBCS is considered the first step towards an integrated air and missile defense battle command capability for the Army, and a joint capability for the nation. The program will set the stage for future integration of sensors and weapons using standard interfaces.

"Our team has developed a non-proprietary, open architecture approach that connects Army systems with joint systems, allowing the services to operate as one integrated force," Karen Williams, vice president for Air and Missile Defense Systems, Northrop Grumman Information Systems, said. "IBCS is not only about connecting the right sensor with the right shooter, it is about integrating a robust battle command element that generates the situational awareness that allows warfighters to make the right battlespace choices and ensure mission success. This is in our team’s sweet spot and we are ready to help the Army move forward on IBCS and get this critical capability deployed to the warfighter."

Raytheon’s Team IBCS was formed using OpenAIR, the company’s open business model that gathers the best of large and small businesses and academia to provide the best value. The team’s design is scalable and tailored to support multimission warfighting needs from battalions to platoons, the company said after the award of the Phase I part of the work.

"Raytheon’s Team IBCS is a specifically tailored team devoted to partnering with our Army customer to provide our warfighters the next ‘unfair advantage’ on current and future battlefields against all aerial threats," John Urias, vice president of the Raytheon Battlespace Integration Directorate, recently said.

The Raytheon team includes General Dynamics [GD] Teledyne Brown Engineering [TDY], Davidson Technologies, IBM [IBM] and Carlson Technologies. On May 11, the company announced that Northrop Grumman’s Space and ISR Systems Division in Boulder, Colo., joined the team.

The Northrop Grumman team includes Boeing [BA]; Lockheed Martin [LMT]; Harris Corp. [HRS]; Schafer Corp.; Torch Technologies Inc.; Numerica; Applied Data Trends; COLSA; Space and Missile Defense Technologies (SMDT); CohesionForce Inc.; Millenium Engineering and Integration Co.; RhinoCorp, Ltd. Co., and Tobyhanna Army Depot. If selected, Northrop Grumman will headquarter its IBCS program in Huntsville, Ala.

The Army expects that IBCS will establish a network-centric system-of-systems way to integrate sensors, shooters, and battle management, command, control, communications and intelligence systems for Army air and missile defense responsibilities. The network would allow the warfighter to use any sensor and any weapon to achieve the mission. The program is expected in the field by 2014.

The Integrated Air and Missile Defense Project Office, Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space in Huntsville, Ala., manages the IBCS program.