The U.S. Army and Northrop Grumman have deployed enhanced missile warning capabilities in South Korea in order to improve battlespace awareness and missile defense in the region. Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS) provides in-theater missile warning using data obtained directly from satellite sensors, and this deployment in South Korea marks the completion of phase one of the system’s modernization program.
JTAGS receives and processes data directly transmitted from the Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) constellation of satellites, including Defense Support Program and Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) sensors, and other infrared satellite sensors. It then disseminates near-real-time warning, alerting and cueing information on ballistic missile launches and other tactical events of interest throughout the region via multiple communications networks.
The phase one modernization program saw JTAGS Block II being installed in permanent facilities in Japan, Qatar, Italy and the Republic of Korea, with updates to hardware, software and communication systems, and enhancements to cyber-security and the soldier-machine interface. Soldier training and exercise support capabilities were also carried out as part of the upgrade.
Northrop Grumman has already begun phase two of the modernization program, delivering additional sensor processing capabilities and updating software architecture. Under the direction of the JTAGS Product Office, Integrated Fires Mission Command (IFMC) Project Office, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Northrop Grumman has been the JTAGS prime contractor since 1994, responsible for developing, fielding, maintaining and enhancing the system worldwide.
Kenn Todorov, vice president and general manager of combat systems and mission readiness at Northrop Grumman, commented: “This is a tremendous milestone in our decades-long mission of delivering missile warning and defense capabilities to protect our joint warfighters and allies. JTAGS is vital to warfighters and of growing importance as we create true Joint All-Domain Command and Control systems, especially as we find new ways to integrate and leverage space-based assets.”