Northrop Grumman [NOC] presented an integrated air picture capability demonstration to Defense Department officials March 18-19 with the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) at the Pentagon.

Northrop Grumman is developing IBCS under the direction of Army IAMD Project Office, the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

The demonstration highlighted how IBCS delivers a single integrated air picture easily understood by commanders and air defense operators to greatly improve aircraft and missile tracking and decision making in the very complex air domain.

The update also showed how commanders can use IBCS to help tailor organizations, sensors and weapons to meet the demands of diverse missions, environments and rules of engagement in a manner not achievable today.

“It is not an overstatement to describe IBCS as transformational to how we will enhance and execute air defense operations,” said Brig. Gen. Neil Thurgood, program executive officer, Missiles and Space.

Kevin Campbell, vice president and executive lead, Missile Defense Integration Group, Northrop Grumman, said: “Today’s air defenders are forced to deal with uncertain information, short timelines and high consequences for wrong decisions. It’s crucial we provide the system that allows commanders to optimize limited resources, plan flexible defense designs and be involved in engagement decisions.”

He added: “This system gives commanders the single integrated air picture that lets them see farther, understand faster and engage earlier with higher confidence.”

IBCS establishes the foundation for commander-centric, network-enabled operations. By networking sensors and interceptors–as opposed to simply linking them–it provides wider area surveillance and broader protection areas.

IBCS replaces seven legacy command-and-control (C2) systems with a net-centric C2 to reduce single points of failure and offer the flexibility for deployment of smaller force packages. It creates a standard simplified approach via one battle command system common across the forces that eliminates the logistics tail of multiple systems and fundamentally changes the training paradigm.

“What we aim to deliver is an ‘every sensor, best shooter’ capability,” said Campbell. “The highly interoperable IBCS establishes the means for connecting complementary and coalition systems for joint and cooperative multinational missile defense.”

With its open systems architecture and a common, government-owned interface, IBCS enables integration of current and future sensors and weapon systems and interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defense system. The modular architecture also allows the ability to modernize sensors and weapon systems without major rework.

The IBCS program resulted from analysis of Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom operations to improve mission command as a top priority. Significant IBCS program milestones include planned flight tests late this year at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.