US Army and Northrop conduct IBCS test with new sensors and shooters

17 November 2015 (Last Updated November 17th, 2015 18:30)

The US Army and Northrop Grumman have successfully conducted a flight test for their integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) battle command system (IBCS).

The US Army and Northrop Grumman have successfully conducted a flight test for their integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) battle command system (IBCS).

During the test, Northrop's IBCS used tracking data from Sentinel and Patriot radars, and enabled the command-and-control (C2) for a Patriot Advanced Capability Three (PAC-3) interceptor to destroy a cruise missile target.

The flight test validated the ability to identify, track, engage, and defeat targets using sensors and an interceptor from different air defence systems. These systems were operating on the integrated fire control network under IBCS control.

"The technical challenge of integrating sensors and shooters that were never designed to work together is tremendous."

Northrop Grumman Information Systems Integrated Air and Missile Defense Division vice-president and general manager Dan Verwiel said: "The technical challenge of integrating sensors and shooters that were never designed to work together (breaking them from existing systems into components for networking) is tremendous."

The flight test involved an MQM-107 drone target, which served as a cruise missile surrogate. This was piloted at a low-altitude trajectory towards an asset defended by an IAMD task force.

The defence included battery and battalion IBCS engagement operations centres, a Patriot radar, two Sentinel radars, and two PAC-3 launchers connected at the component level to the IBCS network.

The engagement operations centre operator, using IBCS mission control software, ordered the launch of a single PAC-3 interceptor missile to destroy the target.

IBCS replaces seven legacy C2 systems to deliver a single integrated air picture, and provide flexibility for the deployment of smaller force packages.

It allows integration of current and future sensor, weapon, joint C2, and ballistic missile defence systems.