Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense System Successfully Intercepts Test Targets
(Source: US Army; issued Dec 12, 2019)
The U.S. Army tested the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) on Dec. 12, 2019, when Patriot PAC-2 missiles intercepted two cruise missile targets, clearing the way for its operational evaluation. (US Army photo)
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. --- The U.S. Army conducted a successful intercept test today with the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS). The test was executed by the IAMD Project Office and Soldiers of the 3-6 Air and Missile Defense Test Detachment (3-6 AMDTD).
Preliminary findings indicate that the planned flight test objectives were achieved and the targets were successfully intercepted. The Army will conduct further analysis in order to validate system models and inform future predictions for system capability.
The test, designated IAMD Flight Test 5 (FT-5), was the final developmental flight test prior to entering operational testing in 2020. IAMD FT-5 included multiple sensors contributing to a composite target track from the Army, as well as joint sensors from the Air Force and Marine Corps. The successful engagement was conducted using PATRIOT Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) missiles against two cruise missile surrogates.
"We are extremely proud of the Soldiers who executed the test today and the performance of the system," said Col. Phil Rottenborn, IAMD Project Manager. "This test marks the first time Soldiers conducted a live engagement using IBCS in a developmental test, and demonstrates Soldier and system readiness for transition to the operational test phase."
Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense (AIAMD) integrates current and future Air and Missile Defense (AMD) sensors and weapons into a common integrated fire control capability with a distributed "plug-and-fight" network architecture. IBCS is the fire control and operational-center capability that provides greater defense effectiveness than the current single sensor fire unit systems.
Soldiers from the 3-6 AMDTD executed the engagement using the IBCS, in addition to operating the PATRIOT and Sentinel radars and PATRIOT launchers. Marines from the Marine Air Control Squadron 24 (MACS 24) operated the TPS-59 Radar and served as the Link-16 Higher Echelon Unit (HEU) during the flight test, providing early warning and engagement decision to IBCS. Two Air Force F-35s also participated, contributing to the IBCS composite track.
Flight Test 5 was the fifth flight test for the IAMD Project Office, which is responsible for modernizing the air-defense mission-command systems and facilitating the concept of "any sensor, best shooter."
"Flight Test 5 is truly a large step forward in the implementation of IAMD with the joint community supporting Multi-Domain Operations" said CW2 Phil Holman, who participated in the engagement from the 3-6 AMDTD. "It is an exceptional honor to be part of a team of outstanding Soldiers and expertly knowledgeable civilians from multiple agencies."
Northrop Grumman Simultaneously Intercepts Multiple Threats During Flight Test
(Source: Northrop Grumman; issued Dec 12, 2019)
HUNTSVILLE, Ala --- The U.S. Army and Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully conducted simultaneous engagement of two incoming target cruise missiles during a flight test using the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS). Including Sentinel, Patriot and Marine TPS-59 radars and Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) Guidance Enhanced Missile-TBM (GEM-T) interceptors, the test demonstrated successful interoperability and the end-to-end performance of the IBCS system to detect, track and simultaneously engage multiple threats.
“Building on the success of the most recent flight test this past August, today’s test demonstrates that IBCS is achieving unprecedented performance in defeating multiple missile threats,” said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. “Taking advantage of all available resources in the battlefield, IBCS enhances battlefield survivability by enabling 360 degree sensor coverage, and enables highest probability of defeat by ensuring the most effective weapon is used to intercept each threat.”
The test was conducted at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico by a test detachment of soldiers from the 30th Brigade 3rd Battalion 6th Air Defense Artillery Regiment who manned the workstations and executed the engagement plan presented by IBCS. The friendly forces defense laydown consisted of a battalion, two battery IBCS engagement operations centers, a Patriot radar, two Sentinel radars and two PAC-2 launchers. Also contributing to the test were a U.S. Marine Corps AN/TPS-59 joint radar connected to an external Link 16 network and F-35 fighter aircraft with sensors adapted to IBCS. All these systems were connected to the IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN).
Designed to emulate potential real-world events, the flight test began when two cruise missile surrogate threats were launched. The cruise missiles flew in a maneuvering formation until they neared their targets, and then split off to attack two separate defended assets. IBCS fused data from the various participating sensors and external networks into accurate composite tracks of both threats. Then it developed the engagement plan employed by the soldiers to successfully launch two PAC-2 missiles and intercept both cruise missile targets.
“Today's successful flight test further demonstrates the maturity of the Integrated Battle Command System and its capabilities in support of Multi-Domain Operations,” said Maj. Gen. Rob Rasch, Army Program Executive Officer, Missiles and Space. “The inclusion of Marine Corps and Air Force sensor systems in the test architecture validate the system's open architecture and the potential for IBCS to operate seamlessly with joint services, as well as foreign partners in the future, to extend battlespace and defeat complex threats."
“IBCS is the Army's #1 Air and Missile Defense priority and will fundamentally change our air and missile defense force and capability, maximizing the combination of sensors and shooters in a completely different way than ever before,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Gibson, Army Futures Command and director of the Air and Missile Defense Cross Functional Team. “Successful execution of this mission-critical test validates that IBCS is well prepared for the upcoming Limited User Test in second quarter 2020.”
IBCS is the cornerstone of the Army’s IAMD modernization program. Designed to connect the force for unified action against evolving threats, IBCS is a net-centric command and control system for the air and missile defense mission. IBCS enhances battlefield survivability by creating a resilient self-healing network of all available sensors that can reduce and eliminate vectors of attack while providing operators with a single integrated air picture of unprecedented accuracy and expanded area of protection.
IBCS is managed by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.