Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord has green-lit production of the US Army’s new battle command system, Department of Defense (DoD) and service officials told
on 13 January.
Lord formally approved Milestone C for the service’s Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) just days before she is set to step down on 20 January. The decision enables the army to award Northrop Grumman a production contract, and move into the operational testing phase. If all goes as planned, the system could be ready for initial operational test and evaluation around mid-2021.
IBCS uses multiple sensors and effectors to extend the ‘battlespace’, provide soldiers with 360° protection, increase survivability by enabling early detection and continuous tracking, and defeat a complex threat set. More specifically, the network connects army radars, combines their targeting data, and passes on that data to whichever launcher is best suited to take a shot against a target.
Back-up Patriot radars are shown here at White Sands Missile Range for the 2020 IBCS limited user test. DoD has given its blessing for the army to move its IBCS into production. (Janes/Ashley Roque)
Army leaders have spent more than USD2.5 billion on the effort since 2009. In 2016, though, the programme suffered a major setback when it failed a limited user test (LUT), and the army revamped the effort.
Four years later, the army conducted another LUT at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico where two Patriot radars, two Sentinel radars, Patriot launchers, two battery engagement operations centres, and two battalion engagement operations centres communicated over seven different Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN) relays within a 70 km area to down targets.
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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)