One-month trial demonstrates IBCS’ ability to communicate and share single integrated air picture across secure military networks
The Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) demonstrated increasingly high levels of performance and interoperability during a recent communications systems test led by the U.S. Army.
In May and June, the external communications test demonstrated the voice and data communications systems of IBCS using a combination of live and simulated air and missile defense assets. This demonstration built upon the successful multi-node and live air soldier checkout events conducted from March-April and April-May, respectively.
This networking and communications exercise further validated the capability of IBCS to form and share a high-quality single integrated air picture across the Army’s IAMD enterprise as well as with higher-echelon military components of the joint force. Voice and data information was exchanged across various secure military networks, including the Link 16 tactical data link network.
A variety of Army IAMD assets - including five Northrop Grumman-built IBCS engagement operations centers and five IBCS integrated fire control network relays - supported the testing across three geographically dispersed areas: the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Tobin Wells Training Area Tactical Systems Integration Lab in Fort Bliss, Texas, and the Government System Integration Laboratory at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
During the test, the IBCS combined information from various sources into the single integrated air picture and published it on the IBCS integrated fire control network. That same high-quality air picture was pushed out over Link 16 to other Link 16 network participants from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and legacy U.S. Army systems. There were also information exchanges with an air battle management aircraft.
The formation and sharing of a single integrated air picture vastly improves the battlefield situational awareness available to warfighters, enabling them to make time-critical decisions to defeat air and missile threats.
“The ability to fight as a networked team is of paramount importance on the modern battlefield,” said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. “The technology we have developed for establishing, controlling and protecting the air and missile defense network is groundbreaking for our customer.
“Test after test, IBCS continues to demonstrate high levels of interoperability, reliability and performance and is proving its immense value as the central command-and-control architecture of the future for our nation’s air defenders.”
IBCS is the Army’s open, net-enabled command and control system of the future for joint, multi-domain air and missile defense operations. It introduces a vastly expanded single integrated air picture and reduces integration times for new systems, particularly sensors and interceptor launchers.
“On today’s battlefield, threats can come from any direction. IBCS brings together different types of sensors and other sources of information and stitches them together into a high quality and actionable air picture, which is key to defending our critical military assets and formations,” said Bill Lamb, director, integrated air and missile defense, Northrop Grumman. “We are eager to get this game-changing air and missile defense technology into the hands of the warfighter.”
In addition to the U.S. Army, IBCS is the air and missile defense command-and-control solution of choice for Poland. In March, Poland signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance with the U.S. government to purchase IBCS and become the first international operator.