America has begun preparing for a major attack on the nation’s capital – simulating incoming missiles and hijacked planes.
The US defense company Northrop Grumman announced the successful test of its Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) this month.
The Beltway area around Washington DC, referred to by defense personnel as the “National Capital Region,” was successfully defended against “simulated cruise missiles and “compromised aircraft,” the company said.
The tests come amid rising tensions worldwide, with the US building a war machine in the Middle East, sending a clear message to Iran to stay on the sidelines as Israel prepares for a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.
Earlier this month, a Russian missile in Eastern Europe killed more than 50 Ukrainians after striking a crowded village cafe and grocery store in the country’s eastern Kharkiv region – one of the deadliest attacks on civilians since the war began.
However, the recent demonstrations were described as part of a “development of the system’s technical capabilities” and there was little indication that the pre-planned exercise was related to these exploding global conflicts.
According to Northrop Grumman, IBCS is the centerpiece of the U.S. Army’s air and missile defense modernization strategy. The system is designed to help troops stay connected remotely, even in complex war and defense scenarios.
U.S. Army personnel use IBCS at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama
Northrop Grumman described its IBCS as a way to address the historical problem that the armed forces had “disjointed solutions to accomplish their mission on the battlefield.”
The system first collects and compares the mass of data provided by existing Army and Air Force sensors and effectors: such as the Sentinel antiballistic missiles, the Avenger heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles, and the National Advanced Surface-to-Air missiles . Rocket System (NASAMS).
The two successful demonstrations demonstrated IBCS’s ability to combine sensors and shooters – such as anti-missile missiles – to help the U.S. military decide on the best action needed to “outpace and defeat complex threats.”
In their final capital defense demonstration, Soldiers from the 263rd Air and Missile Defense Command used IBCS to “significantly expand the area defended throughout the National Capital Region” by also integrating Navy sensor information.
“IBCS continues to demonstrate its ability to unify all available sensors and shooters,” said Rebecca Torzone, vice president and general manager of combat systems and readiness at Northrop Grumman.
“Through recent demonstrations in the National Capital Region,” explained Torzone, IBCS has demonstrated its capabilities in national defense against cruise missiles and other airborne threats.”
“IBCS is now ready to face tomorrow’s threats.”
In their final capital defense demonstration, Soldiers from the 263rd Air and Missile Defense Command used IBCS to “significantly expand the area defended throughout the National Capital Region” by also integrating Navy sensor information. Above is a similar previous IBCS usage
Brigadier General Frank J. Lozano, Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Missile and Space, praised the continued success of the effort earlier this year
“The Army is proving it can and will be successful with its modernization plans as we continue to build momentum for the future,” said Brigadier General. General Lozano said.
“The integration of sensors and effectors that this program brings to air and missile defense will ensure our warfighters are fully equipped to provide air defense against enemy threats,” said Brig. Gen. Lozano.
“The success of this program is a testament to the incredible talent and capabilities of the Soldiers, civilians and industry partners whose work ensures our nation’s security.”
Northrop Grumman, in turn, emphasized the “modular, open and scalable architecture” of its IBCS hardware.
“It gives warfighters capabilities they have never had before,” the company said, “by merging sensor data into a single, actionable picture of the entire battlefield, enabling quick, informed decisions to optimize shooters.”
“This capability expands the battlespace and gives combatants more time to make decisions about how best to defeat threats.”