Integrated Battle Command tests show improved air defense integration


Northrop Grumman has completed tests of its Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System for the US joint force operations.

The second phase of development testing for the Battle Command System (BCS) was a live-air exercise over three weeks in October 2017 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. The first phase of development testing for the BCS was successfully completed in August.

Soldiers from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, used the BCS to direct army air and missile defense sensors and weapons to conduct complex, multi-domain air defense operations as part of a joint task force with the Marine Corps.

Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman, said, “The preliminary analysis indicates all test objectives were accomplished. In an operational environment that included electronic attack, we showed the value of the integrated BCS to resolve ambiguity in the air picture and deliver more accurate target tracking data to support joint integrated air and missile defense.”

IBCS pulled together data from air, ground and marine sensors to form the integrated air picture. By maintaining tracks on objects even when individual sensors could not, IBCS net-centric operations served as valuable counters to electronic attacks. IBCS also demonstrated the ability to correct radar biases and decipher closely spaced objects to significantly enhance the accuracy of the integrated air picture for the benefit of all joint Link-16 message users.

A dozen airborne platforms were identified as “friend or foe” during the live-air tests, including unmanned aircraft systems, fighter aircraft, attack helicopters, attack aircraft, tanker aircraft, early warning aircraft, tilt-rotor aircraft and electronic attack aircraft.

The integrated BCS will replace several legacy systems and deliver a single integrated air picture, as well as offering the flexibility to deploy smaller force packages. By integrating sensors and interceptors, IBCS provides wider area surveillance and broader protection areas.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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