A C2 system.

Northrop Grumman has secured a contract to continue the upgrade and maintenance of the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) command and control (C2) system, which is used for planning, execution and management of joint and multinational military operations.

Awarded by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) under the Encore II contracting vehicle, the $53m order is an option exercised on the global command and control system-joint (GCCS-J) contract that Northrop signed in March 2013.

Northrop Grumman defence systems division vice-president and general manager Mike Twyman said the company is optimising GCCS-J for the joint and coalition environment, designing a globally accessible C2 data fabric with a streamlined system.

"The effort will continue to enhance the value and operations of this critical component of the nation’s defence," Twyman said.

Northrop has successfully completed crucial modules to allow appropriate information sharing across multiple security levels over the last year, and collaborated with DISA to pilot initial software, which will eventually provide the foundation for the joint C2 data fabric concept.

"The effort will continue to enhance the value and operations of this critical component of the nation’s defence."

The joint C2 seeks to deliver dynamic, customisable and user-driven capabilities that are secure, interoperable and responsive to both existing and future soldier requirements.

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In addition to continuing system migration to open architectures for reduced operational costs and increased flexibility, the company, along with DISA, the GCCS family of system leads and soldier representatives, also started identification and elimination of lower priority modules to save costs and modernise priority functions to boost performance.

Northrop Grumman joint C2 business unit director Winter McCall said: "In 2013, the programme again successfully completed CMMI level five assessment and re-certified its AS9100 registration, maintaining our commitment to engineering and quality excellence."

GCCS-J is an advanced command, control, communications, computer and intelligence (C4I) service, which integrates systems for situational awareness and intelligence and provides worldwide connectivity with all levels of command.

Image: US commanders require vital connectivity for effective planning and execution of missions worldwide. Photo: courtesy of the US Army.

Defence Technology