U.S. Army soldiers recently conducted a dual engagement flight test of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS), developed by Northrop Grumman [NOC], to identify, track, engage, and destroy ballistic and cruise missiles, the company said Monday.

The test conducted on April 8 validated the IBCS’s ability to manage multiple simultaneous threats. It used joint sensors to provide data to the IBCS engagement operations center to augment the Army’s sensor data a for a single integrated air picture, Northrop Grumman said. The test also demonstrated the IBCS selecting from different missile types to defeat multiple threats arriving at the same time.

The Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS). Photo: Northrop Grumman.
The Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS). Photo: Northrop Grumman.

The IBCS is meant to replace seven legacy command-and-control (C2) systems to deliver a single, integrated air picture while also offering the flexibility to deploy smaller force packages. IBCS networks sensors and interceptor, providing a wider area surveillance and broader-protection areas, Northrop Grumman said.

The system uses sensors and interceptors from different air defense systems connected at the component level, to operate on the IBCS integrated fire control networks. The IBCS then uses tracking data from Sentinel and Patriot radars to provide C2 for a Lockheed Martin-built Patriot Advanced Capability Three (PAC-3) interceptor to destroy a ballistic missile target and a PAC-2 interceptor to destroy a cruise missile target.

The company highlighted IBCS has a “truly open systems architecture,” allowing integration of both current and future sensors and weapon systems as well as interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defense system.

“This IBCS test demonstrated the benefit of giving warfighters expanded combinations of radars and weapon systems to achieve any-sensor, best-shooter capability,” Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager of the missile defense and protective systems division at Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, said in a statement.

“Together with the Army, we look forward to realizing the advances offered by the IBCS open architecture, including taking advantage of sensors that look in all directions to facilitate 360-degree protection for air and missile defense missions,” Verwiel added.

IBCS flight test architecture also included the Marine Corps Tactical Air Operations Module for joint C2 situational awareness.

All of the OBCS operations were conducted by air defenders from Fort Bliss, Texas, as part of the Limited User Test system evaluation. This is ahead of a Milestone C decision to be made later this year.

An upgraded Army IAMD (AIAMD) system was tested in March, focusing purely on ballistic missile targets (Defense Daily, March 18).

IBCS is managed by the IAMD Project Office at the Program Executive officer for Missiles and Space at Restone Arsenal, Ala.