Army modernizes to introduce new air and missile defense technology


Army modernizes to introduce new air and missile defense technology

Lower level air and missile defense sensor

Photo by Raytheon

As the Army works to modernize its air and missile defense capabilities, the service is stepping up its efforts to develop joint systems that will be critical to winning future battles.

Technology is one of the top modernization priorities led by Army Future Command. As part of its efforts to build capacity, the service combines office space and testing technology with other armed services to converge and streamline the process of building and integrating new platforms.

Major General Robert Rasch Jr., program manager for missiles and space at Redstone Arsenal, said his office had undergone a restructuring to support the military’s evolving multi-domain concept of operations.

“Our PEO over the past year has undergone a complete realignment of our products and our project offices in order to position ourselves to support this notion of convergence,” he said at the Global Force Next conference. ‘Association of the United States Army in March.

Those efforts began in late 2019 when officials took a look at the organization and looked at areas where they were missing.

“We have gone from eight separate project offices to six, and we have converged products that support air and missile defense, such as sensors, shooters, and command and control, all in separate project offices where we can reuse the synergy of these teams, ”said Rasch.

The previous build of the organization did not allow the military to adapt quickly or achieve the pace needed for new efforts. The new structure allows the office to break away from outdated systems of the past, he said.

“We have set up our Integrated Fire Office and Rapid Capabilities to oversee this evolution of our capabilities,” Rasch said. “The Integrated Fire Office was designed to truly be the entry point for our future requirements in the PEO.” The new office will help break down capacity requirements in order to meet them properly.

“In many cases, from a convergence point of view, or from an integrated fire point of view, this could involve multiple project offices,” he noted.

The integrated fire office now acts as a sort of umbrella for other organizations.

The most recent effort to go through the newly revamped organization is the lower level air and missile defense sensor.

The radar system, also known as LTAMDS, is designed to defeat advanced and next-generation threats, including hypersonic weapons.

By layering the new integrated fire department on top of the others, the service was able to scale faster without wasting time, Rasch said.

“Over the past four to five months, as we worked on our new organizational structure and processes, we have achieved a fidelity of planning and architectural study that we never would have had before this point in time. time, ”he mentioned.

Meanwhile, over the past year and a half, the military has achieved a number of portfolio milestones, Brig said. Gen. Brian Gibson, director of the cross-functional air and missile defense team at Army Futures Command.

The service successfully completed its limited user test for the Integrated Air and Missile Defense System, or IAMD, and the Office of the

The Defense Secretary also approved the Step C decision for the program, Gibson noted.

The platform integrates current and future sensors and weapons into a common integrated fire control capability with a distributed network architecture, according to the military. The IAMD Combat Command System, or IBCS, is the platform’s fire control and operations center capability.

To achieve Milestone C, Northrop Grumman, the program’s prime contractor, worked in partnership with the Army Integrated Fire Mission Command Program Office on system engineering, design, development and testing of IBCS hardware and software, the company said in a news outlet. Release.

The # 1 priority for the Army Futures Command cross-functional team remains its mission command application for IAMD, Gibson said.

“This allows us to create joint windows of opportunity, not only for the military, but also for the joint force to converge fire,” he said. “Initially, it’s on the defensive side of our equation,” but in the future the system could also offer offensive capabilities, he noted.

The military will move forward this year with the Department of Defense led initial testing and assessment for the IAMD effort. Testing will begin later this year, Gibson said.

After successful tests, the capability will be deployed to the Army’s 1st Air and Missile Defense Battalion shortly thereafter, he noted.

The team’s second priority is Short Range Initial Maneuver Air Defense, or IM-SHORAD. Over the past year, the service has tested the capability and trained soldiers to use it. The service recently acquired its initial tranche of IM-SHORAD capabilities which will be deployed by one battalion.

The team’s next priority is the indirect fire protection capability, which will be used to defeat rockets, artillery, cruise missiles, and drones.

The military currently has “soldiers today in the sands of the southwestern United States training, testing … and preparing, if necessary, to deploy this capability later this year,” said Gibson. “It allows us to learn, not only about this capability of the weapon system, but more importantly about the individual elements and parts of it.”

At the same time, the service is undergoing what Gibson has called “enduring competition” to build, deliver and commission an independent launcher and missile that can integrate into its integrated air and missile defense command and control platform.

The service will host a “shoot-off” later this year and plans to shrink to a single supplier by the end of the year.

The cross-functional team is also focusing on the lower-level air and missile detection program, which has been the “workhorse” of the military’s missile defense force for decades, Gibson said.

Calling the capability a phenomenal weapon system, the rig “will be a stand-alone sensor that will not only exceed the capability of the Patriot radar on the scale of what we have today, but it will also allow us to take a sensor. independent and to disconnect and break ties. sensors and shooters and C2 and put that on the battlefield “where you want it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the service is working to build stronger relationships with allied nations in the area of ​​air and missile defense.

Exercises such as the Nimble Titan are one example, said Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commander of the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command.

Nimble Titan is a two-year global missile defense warfare game series. The exercise aims to encourage participants to think outside the constraints of current international procedures.

Attendees include the State Department, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, 24 partner countries, NATO, US Fighter Commands and the Missile Defense Agency, Karbler said.

The exercise is “not only a convergence of capabilities, equipment and other things, but a convergence of all these allies and common partners to put integrated air and missile defense at the forefront,” he said. declared.

The military also plans to test a large number of defensive capabilities during Project Convergence 2021. Project Convergence is the service’s “learning campaign” – which was first conducted last year at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. – which is designed to test the latest military science. and-technological projects in a multi-domain battlefield.

Meanwhile, Karbler said that despite the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, teams from several commands are still working together to advance air and missile efforts such as the lower level air and missile defense sensor and technology programs based on spacing.

The progress made by Russia and China in their missile and space capabilities concerns the military, Karbler said.

Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the service is starting to see a “normalization” in the use of tactical ballistic missiles, drones and indirect fire, he said. For this reason, the military must act quickly to incorporate new technologies that can help the entire Defense Department, he said.

As the service strives to further integrate space capabilities, it has gained a better understanding of what is needed for deterrence in the 21st century, he said.

“The deterrence of the twenty-first century brings other areas – space, cyber, [the] electromagnetic spectrum, as well as the use of conventional forces, ”he said. “The convergence of these capacities and these effects remains essential for us.”

The subjects: Army news, missile defense


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