Northrop Grumman [NOC] is working with the Army in support of Poland’s pending request with the U.S. government to acquire three more battalions of Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) capabilities, a company official told reporters this week.

Bill Lamb, senior programs director for Northrop Grumman’s multi-domain mission command operating unit, noted Poland’s acquisition of additional IBCS capabilities would be in support of its NAREW short-range air defense modernization program.

The first IBCS engagement operations center for Poland’s WISLA air and missile defense program leaves Northrop Grumman’s Huntsville production facility. Photo: Northrop Grumman.

“They’ve submitted a request to the U.S. government for that and we are working very closely with the U.S. Army on developing a response for that request for IBCS,” Lamb said during a media engagement at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama.

Poland is already the first international customer for IBCS having procured one battalion-worth of capability in support of its WISLA air and missile defense modernization program.

Northrop Grumman announced last month it has delivered the first of six production Engagement Operations Centers for Poland’s initial IBCS capability (Defense Daily, July 20). 

Poland signed on to become the first international IBCS operator after agreeing to a $4.75 billion deal with the U.S. in March 2018 to purchase the Patriot missile defense system along with the new Northrop Grumman-built battle command system (Defense Daily, March 28 2018).

A year later, the Army awarded Northrop Grumman a $713 million deal to produce IBCS for Poland, including IBCS engagement operations centers and integrated fire control network relays designed to deliver IBCS net-enabled command and control for four firing units (Defense Daily, March 15 2019).

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.

The Army in December awarded Northrop Grumman a potential $1.4 billion deal for IBCS production, covering delivery of up to 160 systems (Defense Daily, Dec. 23).

Lamb noted that the Army is readying to begin the second phase of initial operational test and evaluation for IBCS, which he said is expected to be completed in the October timeframe.

Northrop Grumman said in March the Army had conducted two successful flight tests with IBCS during the first phase of IOT&E, one that involved intercepting a high-speed tactical ballistic missile and another where two cruise missile targets were taken out “in a stressing electronic attack environment” (Defense Daily, March 17). 

A third and final flight test during the second phase of IOT&E phase is slated for this fall and a full rate-production decision for IBCS is slated for fiscal year 2023, according to the Army.

“Our expectation is that the program will move forward into full-rate production with the department’s decision. In addition, we see the future being very bright with respect to interest we’re seeing internationally, like Australia, the U.K. and Japan,” Lamb said.