The U.S. Army successfully engaged a cruise missile target in a highly contested electronic attack environment during a developmental flight test using the Northrop Grumman Corporation Integrated air and missile defense Battle Command System (IBCS).
The test demonstrated the integration of IBCS and the U.S. Marine Corps AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) system, also manufactured by Northrop Grumman.
The flight test consisted of live testing and demonstration of a Joint Track Manager Capability (JTMC), which provided a bridge between IBCS and the Navy’s Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), enabling the sharing of G/ATOR track data on the IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN).
Two surrogate cruise missiles were launched in the test, one performing the electronic attack mission to disrupt radar performance, and the other flying a threat profile targeting friendly assets. IBCS was used to track the surrogate cruise missile targets, identify the threatening missile, and launch a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptor.
With support from Lockheed Martin, the flight test architecture also incorporated two F-35 combat aircraft integrated on the IFCN with on board sensors contributing to the IBCS developed joint composite track used to perform the engagement.
“The integration of additional sensors from multiple services continues to show the power inherent in the IBCS architecture and design to incorporate and integrate joint sensors across multiple domains,” said Christine Harbison, vice president and general manager, combat systems and mission readiness, Northrop Grumman.
“By enabling joint operation and utilizing multiple sensors operating in various bands, IBCS was able to operate through the electronic attack environment so soldiers can identify, track and ultimately intercept the threat.”
The flight test success integrated the widest variety of sensors to date on the IFCN for an IBCS test, including one Marine Corps G/ATOR, two Army Sentinel radars, one Army Patriot radar and two U.S. Air Force F-35 fighter aircraft.
The Gallium Nitride-based AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR is a digital, software-defined advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) multi-mission radar that provides comprehensive real time, full-sector, 360-degree situational tracking against an array of threats.
This was the eighth of eight successful developmental or operational flight tests performed with the IBCS program.
Northrop Grumman is pioneering Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) with IBCS. The system’s resilient, open, modular, scalable architecture is foundational to deploying an integrated network of all available assets in the battlespace, regardless of source, service or domain.
IBCS enables the efficient and affordable integration of current and future systems, including assets deployed over IP-enabled networks, counter-UAS systems, 4th- and 5th-generation aircraft, space-based sensors and more. It senses, identifies, tracks and defeats evolving air and missile threats, enabling revolutionary ‘all-domain, every sensor, best effector’ operations.