Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered to the U.S. Army the first production-representative Engagement Operations Center (EOC) for the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS).
«This milestone is testament of the significant progress toward operational capability that will make pivotal differences to warfighters, commanders and acquisition officials», said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. «We will be delivering more EOCs as well as IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN) relays in the near future. These articles will be used for Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E), which informs future production decisions».
The delivered IBCS EOC has completed all functional configuration audits for major configuration items and system verification review, and is representative of the production configuration for hardware and software that will undergo qualification testing before IOT&E. Northrop Grumman is on pace to deliver 11 EOCs and 18 IFCN relays for the IBCS program by the end of the year.
«Northrop Grumman will continue to closely collaborate with our customer and user communities to realize the groundbreaking vision of IBCS and its transformative impact on the air and missile defense mission», said Verwiel.
IBCS is a paradigm shift for IAMD by replacing legacy stove-piped systems with a next-generation, net-centric approach to better address an evolving array of threats. The system integrates disparate radars and weapons to construct a far more effective IAMD enterprise. IBCS delivers a single integrated air picture with unprecedented accuracy as well as broader surveillance and protection areas. With its truly open systems architecture, IBCS allows incorporation of current and future sensors and effectors and enables interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defense system.
IBCS is managed by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
The U.S. Army has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $713 million contract for the production of Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) for the first phase of Poland’s WISŁA air and missile defense program.
«Poland is taking a leadership role in today’s complex threat environment by selecting IBCS over legacy stove-piped systems that were designed decades ago for a much different threat profile. IBCS is the future of multidomain operations and with it, Poland will have a state-of-the-art system to modernize its integrated air and missile defense capabilities», said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. «Through the acquisition of IBCS, Poland will be in line with the U.S. Army’s future direction. Poland will have the flexibility to consider any radar and any interceptor, optimize sensor and effector integration and keep pace with an evolving threat».
Under this foreign military sales contract for WISŁA, Northrop Grumman will manufacture IBCS engagement operations centers and integrated fire control network relays and deliver IBCS net-enabled command and control for four firing units. The IBCS engagement operations centers will be integrated with IBCS battle management software that maximizes the combat potential of sensors and weapon systems. IBCS engagement operations centers and network relays will be transported by Polish Jelcz vehicles.
«Northrop Grumman continues to work closely with the Polish Ministry of National Defense and Polish industry toward a comprehensive offset program that meets the program goals and requirements. We look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with PGZ and its consortium of companies on this and future phases of the WISŁA program», said Tarik Reyes, vice president, business development, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. «We are pleased with the opportunity to deliver cutting-edge, net-centric IBCS technology to Poland and support the Ministry of National Defense’s modernization priorities».
IBCS is the air and missile defense command-and-control solution of choice for Poland. In March 2018, Poland signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance with the U.S. government to purchase IBCS and became the first international partner country to acquire this advanced capability. By implementing IBCS, Poland will transform its IAMD capabilities in a manner consistent with the U.S. Army.
IBCS creates a paradigm shift for IAMD by replacing legacy stove-piped systems with a next-generation, net-centric approach to better address the evolving complex threat. The system integrates disparate radars and weapons to construct a far more effective IAMD enterprise. IBCS delivers a single integrated air picture with unprecedented accuracy and broadens surveillance and protection areas. With its truly open systems architecture, IBCS allows incorporation of current and future sensors and weapon systems and interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defense system.
IBCS is managed by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a contract from the U.S. Army’s Lower Tier Program Office (LTPO) to perform risk reduction for radar technology and associated mission capabilities intended to replace the Army’s 50-year-old Patriot radars.
LTAMDS will be the Army’s first net centric radar to be added to the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense enterprise controlled by the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS), which Northrop Grumman also develops. IBCS is the advanced command and control system that integrates air and missile defense sensors and weapons, including Patriot, to generate a real-time comprehensive threat picture and enable any-sensor, best-shooter operations.
Northrop Grumman’s next-generation sensors will potentially benefit from decades-long experience in delivering rapidly deployable ground based radars, such as the high performance AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR active electronically scanned array production radar to the United States Marine Corps. G/ATOR capabilities include comprehensive, real-time, 360-degree multi-threat detection and tracking.
«We are excited about this award and the overall mission capabilities we can provide the Army», said Roshan Roeder, vice president, global ground based radars, Northrop Grumman. «We have more than forty years of experience in providing proven surveillance and threat engagement capabilities to more than 35 global customers».
A series of tests on White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico is demonstrating the capabilities of a new air defense system in development by the U.S. Army.
The Integrated Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-Intercept, IFPC Inc 2-I, is a defense system in development to protect Soldiers from aircraft, cruise missiles, and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), as well as artillery weapons like cannons, rockets and mortars.
«If you go back and take a look at what has happened in terms of the threat over the last couple years you will find that UAS systems and cruise missiles have really become a problem», said Colonel Terrence Howard, program manager for Cruise Missile Defense Systems. «So we have got to introduce materiel solutions that can address multiple threats».
As an emerging Army air defense system, not only does it have the requirement to defend against a wide variety of threats, but it also must integrate into the Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense system. AIAMD is a networked air defense control system also currently going through testing on WSMR.
«The idea behind that is ‘plug and fight,’ take multiple systems, multiple radars, and put it on a network and solve whatever threat situation we have out there», Howard said.
This March and April, IFPC Inc 2-I is conducting several launches to test the system’s ability to launch various missile types, and demonstrate its ability to connect to the AIAMD system and utilize its Integrated Battle Command System, IBCS, a computer system that allows a small number of Soldiers to better manage and control a complex air defense network composed of different radars and missile systems.
«It is about integration of a lot of existing capability», said Tamera Adams, chief engineer with the Army’s Cruise Missile Defense Systems projects. «It is kind of like if you are trying to put together a new stereo system in your house. You are buying speakers from this vendor, a turntable from another and a DVD player from another. You are trying to put them together to get the best capability for your house».
One of the most visible features of the IFPC Inc 2-I system is its Multi-Mission Launcher, MML. The launcher, mounted on a medium tactical truck similar in size to a delivery truck, carries 15 modular missile launch tubes on a turret system allowing the missiles to be launched in almost any direction. The vehicle’s size allows it to be placed in nearly any location, and the tube system will allow the launcher to customize its missile loadout, to meet the requirements of many different missions.
To date the program has launched a Hellfire Longbow and a pair of AIM-9X Sidewinders utilizing the IBCS and sensor data from a Sentinel radar unit, as well as conducting a ballistic test of the Miniature Hit-to-Kill missile, a compact missile intended for use against rocket, artillery and mortar threats. In most of these tests the IFPC Inc 2-I system is being used against targets representing cruise missile or UAS threats to allow the IFPC Inc 2-I test to evaluate not just the systems compatibility with the IBCS and missiles, but also evaluate how it performs against those threats.
«We are firing the entire kill chain and seeing what the end product looks like as we shoot at Unmanned Aerial Systems and cruise missiles», Howard said.
IFPC Inc 2-I is a joint collaborative effort between the Army’s Program Executive Office (PEO) for Missiles and Space’s Cruise Missile Defense Systems Project Office and the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center. Produced largely in house by the Army, the program has seen rapid progress, going from concept, to demonstrator, to its current full featured prototype form in only a few years.
«We have been working for the past 24 months, on maturing the design of our new launcher and integrating with three major existing programs: AIAMD, the sentinel radar system and the AIM-9X missile», Adams said.
As the Army’s premiere location for the test of complex missile and air defense systems, as well as the existing presences of the AIAMD program, WSMR was the logical choice for this test series. WSMR has supported the IFPC demonstrator in previous testing, and is able to provide not only the space, but also the targets, telemetry, staff and infrastructure needed for testing counter cruise missile and UAS systems.
«WSMR has the technical expertise to run these ranges and really provide the data we need to get out of the test and the test results», Howard said. «So we can go back and do our analysis and say ‘did we get this right?’»
More firings are scheduled at WSMR to continue testing the launchers capabilities and compatibility with other missiles and systems.
Across the globe, a variety of air and missile defense threats are evolving and proliferating. At the same time, adversaries are exploiting weaknesses in America’s air and missile defense system, said Brigadier General Christopher L. Spillman, commandant of the Army Air Defense Artillery School. Spillman and other missile defense experts met during an Association of the United States Army panel, February 12, to discuss how the United States could better attain networked mission command.
Adversaries are employing their own ballistic missile capabilities and coordinating them with cruise missile and unmanned aerial system threats, Spillman said, calling their efforts «complex and integrated». The Army needs to regain its air-defense advantage and «move beyond our current limited-point-defense», Spillman added. The reason for the urgency in addressing Air and Missile Defense, or AMD, vulnerabilities is due in large part to the current «inflexible, stove-piped command and control systems».
Major General Ole A. Knudson, program executive for the Program and Integration, Missile Defense Agency, said each military service has its own AMD architecture, but those architectures are not «entirely compatible» with one another.
That architecture, Spillman said, is much more complex than a just a physical network of fiber, relays, routers and servers. It also involves connectivity between sensors, radars, launchers and shooters. The systems need to communicate seamlessly across the battlespace to more effectively engage the enemy and reduce risk from errors, including those that result in fratricide.
Barry J. Pike, deputy program executive officer, program executive office missile and space, said that fixing AMD integration weak points is so important because it is «a foundational capability the Army provides» to combatant commanders, as outlined in the recently released Army Operating Concept.
IAMD-Battle Command System Solution
The services are working together now to integrate AMD networks and mission-command functions through an effort known as Integrated Air and Missile Defense – Battle Command System, or IBCS, Spillman said. He noted that IBCS will give combatant commanders and AMD «a flexibility that doesn’t exist today. It will transform the force».
Barry Pike said that with IBCS, the Army hopes to partner with industry to build non-proprietary network capabilities that are modular, and that have open-system architecture that uses existing industry standards. The idea is to have common human-system interface requirements that allow standardization, more rapid development, cost reduction and future add-ons, he said. Testing is well underway on integration efforts with the other services, Pike said.
Daniel J. Verwiel, vice president and general manager of integrated air and missile defense for Northrop Grumman Information Systems, said that IBCS efforts will ultimately lead to handing off AMD «to the best possible shooter», be it from a ship or the shore.
Spillman said that at the same time the Army develops the IBCS, it will also need to prepare to train Soldiers to use it. Soldiers will need adequate time to train on new systems and leaders will have to be the ones who successfully execute any new implementation.
Spillman said AMD, with all its weaknesses, is deployed worldwide in support of combatant commanders to shape the environment, enable projection of national power, defend the homeland and reassure allies.
Around 58% of the AMD force is forward-deployed or forward-stationed, he said.
NATO intelligence reports indicate the threat of ballistic missiles is increasing in number and complexity. By 2018, all of Europe could be at risk.