U.S. Army soldiers have executed a successful dual engagement flight test of the Northrop Grumman-developed Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System to identify, track, engage and defeat ballistic and cruise missile targets.
Building upon previous successful flight tests, the April 8 event validated the ability of IBCS to manage multiple threats. The test included joint sensors providing data to the IBCS engagement operations center to augment Army sensor data for a single integrated air picture, and the IBCS selecting from different missile types to defeat multiple threats arriving at the same time.
“This IBCS test demonstrated the benefit of giving warfighters expanded combinations of radars and weapon systems to achieve any-sensor, best-shooter capability,” said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems division, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. “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.”
The IBCS utilized sensors and interceptors from different air defense systems connected at the component level to operate on the IBCS integrated fire control network. Using tracking data from Sentinel and Patriot radars, the IBCS provided the command-and-control (C2) for a Patriot Advanced Capability Three (PAC-3) interceptor to destroy a ballistic missile target and a PAC-2 interceptor to destroy a cruise missile target.
Additionally, the IBCS flight test architecture included the Marine Corps Tactical Air Operations Module for joint C2 situational awareness. Air defenders from Fort Bliss, Texas, conducted all IBCS operations as part of the Limited User Test system evaluation ahead of a Milestone C decision later this year.
Foundational to IAMD transformation and key to the Army IAMD portfolio, the IBCS is managed by the IAMD Project Office, Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
IBCS replaces seven legacy C2 systems to deliver a single integrated air picture and offer the flexibility to deploy smaller force packages. By networking sensors and interceptors, IBCS provides wider area surveillance and broader protection areas. With its truly open systems architecture, IBCS enables integration of current and future sensors and weapon systems and interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defense system.