Northrop Grumman Corporation delivered its Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node (TITAN) space pre-prototype ground system to the U.S. Army for demonstration at Project Convergence 2022 – a military exercise aimed at advancing the Army’s role in Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) capabilities. The pre-prototype is the preliminary model of the first of two space prototypes Northrop Grumman is developing for the Defense Innovation Unit and the Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP) office.
The mobile, semi-autonomous pre-prototype system leverages commercial and military space assets to facilitate deep-sensing, reduce sensor-to-shooter timelines and maximize the effectiveness of long-range precision fires. This new capability fully integrates data from multiple assets into a single mobile system. The groundbreaking technology supports the Department of Defense’s strategy for its JADC2 network to conduct multi-domain operations.
«Our TITAN solution is a pioneering technology integrating critical space capabilities into a mobile system», said Pablo Pezzimenti, vice president, integrated national systems, Northrop Grumman. «Our unique ability to provide access to multi-domain, actionable intelligence from commercial and military space systems directly contributes to success on the battlefield by helping the warfighter make quicker decisions when every second counts».
The prototype capabilities are part of a larger TITAN program, a scalable and expeditionary intelligence ground station that will leverage space, high altitude, aerial and terrestrial layer sensors to provide targetable data to commanders at all levels so they can quickly assess threats. The system will also connect the joint force by providing near real-time intelligence using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to rapidly deliver fused data from multi-domain sensors to weapon platforms, such as artillery, jammers and airborne systems.
Northrop Grumman Corporation was awarded a five-year contract valued at more than $1 billion from the U.S. Army for low-rate initial production and full-rate production of the Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) on December 23.
«IBCS is a centerpiece of the U.S. Army’s modernization strategy for air and missile defense to address the changing battlefield», said Mary Petryszyn, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Defense Systems. «Working closely with the Army, we look forward to leveraging the IBCS architecture to create an all-domain command and control capability».
Under this contract, Northrop Grumman will produce and field IBCS and provide product engineering and logistics support for the U.S. and select allied forces through foreign military sales.
IBCS’s resilient, open, modular and scalable architecture is foundational to integrating all available assets in the battlespace, regardless of source, service or domain. Its architecture enables the efficient and affordable integration of current and future systems. Through numerous, successful flight tests, IBCS has validated the ability to connect and fuse multi-service sensor data to multi-service weapons demonstrating Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) capabilities.
Since Northrop Grumman delivered the first IBCS to the U.S. Army, the program has undergone extensive hardware-in-the-loop environmental, live fire, and developmental testing and has participated in numerous Joint Service and U.S. Army exercises. The current award follows the program’s recent flight test which integrated multi-domain systems across the services and the decision by the Department of Defense authorizing IBCS to proceed into low rate initial production as a result of the successful Limited User Test.
Northrop Grumman is a technology company, focused on global security and human discovery. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with capabilities they need to connect, advance and protect the U.S. and its allies. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our 90,000 employees define possible every day.
Lockheed Martin has invented a new type of satellite dish technology with a wide range of use on satellites and ground terminals, including space-based 5G. The Wide Angle ESA Fed Reflector (WAEFR) antenna is a hybrid of a phased array Electronically Steerable Antenna (ESA) and a parabolic dish, and increases coverage area by 190% compared to traditional phased array antennas at a much lower cost.
This antenna is part of a larger research and development investment in 5G.MIL technologies that will optimize and securely connect warfighting platforms to enable Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2). Lockheed Martin is uniquely positioned, leveraging commercial best practices, strong partnerships, a broad supply chain and leadership expertise, to bring 5G connectivity and capabilities to the defense community rapidly and affordably.
«We adopted a commercial mindset to quickly mature this technology and discovered there were multiple use cases and applications that could benefit from this new hybrid antenna», said Chris Herring, vice president of advanced program development at Lockheed Martin Space. «5G.MIL technologies like this will bring greater connectivity, faster and more reliable networks, and new data capabilities to support our customers as they navigate the complexity of 21st century battlefields».
The team rapidly prototyped, tested and validated this system in a matter of months compared to what previously took years. WAEFR also features:
High performance gain of a dish with the beam agility of an ESA;
Low Size Weight and Power (SWAP) common product solution to accommodate any orbital altitude or ground terminal application;
Advances in 3D-printing technology and accelerated parts production.
This type of antenna will also benefit the broader communications and ISR communities by providing a more reliable scanning solution compared to gimbaled designs.
«The primary benefit of the WAEFR approach is accomplishing more mission with fewer resources», said Thomas Hand, Ph.D., associate technical fellow at Lockheed Martin Space. «While state of the art ESA solutions can address more demanding link performance, capacity, and data rates using multiple agile analog beams, they do so at a premium».