Missile Defense Battle Management Capabilities Being
Last month, Northrop Grumman says it successfully demonstrated
two key battle management capabilities for the new Kinetic Energy
Interceptors (KEI) missile-defense program, ahead of schedule.
KEI is a mobile, land-based missile-defense system that, when
deployed, will be able to destroy a hostile threat during its boost
and ascent phase of flight. The team managing the KEI battle
management portion of the program is in Huntsville, AL.
The first test demonstrated the ability of the KEI command and
control, battle management and communications (C2BMC) system's
permanent US site to process data from classified sensors,
downgrade the classification of that data, and distribute it to a
KEI battery in the field. This permanent C2BMC system
will be housed in the Joint National Integration Center at
Schriever Air Force Base, CO. and will be known as the Continental
US KEI (CKEI) -- providing a vital link for key national sensor
data to the field -- when the overall KEI system becomes
During this test, the CKEI demonstrated the ability to process
live data from satellite sources and feed that data into the mobile
C2BMC battery in the field to substantially improve the
threat-trajectory prediction and enhance the system's ability to
intercept a hostile threat.
In a separate event, Northrop Grumman took an initial step in
testing the mobile C2BMC system (housed in a 42-foot trailer that
deploys to the field as part of the KEI battery) when the system
tracked a live launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.
During the test, the C2BMC system software (located in Boulder, CO)
successfully identified the threat, formulated a track and
committed on an engagement of the target.
These events are seen as the initial step in a series of planned
demonstrations over the next two years to prove the overall KEI
system's ability to perform its mission.
"The capability to commit on the
launched target demonstrated that the KEI software is on-track for
engaging threats within the necessary timeline for a successful
boost/ascent intercept," said Craig Staresinich, vice president and
general manager, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, Kinetic Energy
Interceptors program. "By incorporating information from
additional sensor sources through the CKEI, we continue to improve
our ability to effectively destroy the target."
Northrop Grumman is leading a team charged with developing and
testing a Kinetic Energy Interceptors boost/ascent phase capability
for the global layered ballistic missile defense system, under
contract to the US Missile Defense Agency.
From detection, to tracking, to engagement, Northrop Grumman is
bringing its entire suite of expertise to bear on the development
of a global layered missile-defense capability for our nation,
allies and deployed forces. In addition to KEI, Northrop
Grumman is developing the chemical laser portion of the Airborne
Laser boost phase capability. For the Ground-based Midcourse
Defense program, Northrop Grumman provides the critical Fire
Control/Communications System. In the area of sensors, the
company is prime for the Space Tracking and Surveillance System and
is currently the prime on the Defense Support Program. In
modeling and simulation, Northrop Grumman is prime at the Joint
National Integration center.
Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, VA, is a
global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services
for defense, intelligence and civil government markets. The
sector's technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as
strategic systems, including ICBMs; missile defense; intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance; command and control; and technical
services and training.