During a sophisticated flight test of the US Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS), developed by Northrop Grumman, data from Army, Air Force and Marine Corps sensors and weapons systems were fused on a network.
This capability demonstration enabled operators to connect any sensor with the best shooter to see, track and intercept a cruise missile target, despite a highly contested electronic attack environment that jammed some of the radars and would have otherwise denied the intercept. In addition, IBCS shared target flight track data with a Navy C2 system during the event.
According to Northrop Grumman, the test was proof of the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) capabilities inherent in the company's modular open systems approach to C2 architecture.
“What we demonstrated during the July flight test is the capacity of our approach and architecture to integrate multi-domain systems across the services,” said Mike Foust, a Northrop Grumman engineering fellow and Integrated Air and Missile Defense chief architect. “We’ve already proven joint-force connectivity and shown the path to future Joint All-Domain and Command and Control.”
Among Northrop Grumman’s solutions to the broader demands of JADC2 is the Joint Integrated Fires Command, Control and Communications system (JIFC3),which uses modular open systems architecture and incorporates new tools to help commanders quickly coordinate, deconflict and synchronize defensive and strike firing of missiles and other assets.
The approach creates a highly-accurate common operating picture as sensors share data to create composite tracks of missiles or other threats that can be used by any effector or weapon system to engage them. Weapon systems may share C2 capabilities so that an airborne or space-based sensor might someday cue firing of a ship- or land-based missile.
“Our architecture can integrate future systems, as well as existing systems that were never designed for joint use,” Foust added. “We can leverage the large investment in current systems, which may gain extended range or fuller use of their capabilities – or discover new uses and missions for them – as part of the joint system.”
Northrop Grumman recently told ADM it is drawing on experience developed for the US Army's IBCS in its bid for Air 6500. More information is available in the October print edition of ADM.