America has begun preparing for a major attack on the nation’s capital – by simulating incoming missiles and hijacked planes. US defense contractor Northrop Grumman this month announced the successful test of its Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS).
The Beltway area around Washington DC, known to 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 assembling a war machine in the Middle East in a clear message to Iran to stay on the sidelines as Israel prepares for a ground invasion of Gaza.
Earlier this month, a Russian missile in eastern Europe killed more than 50 Ukrainians at a busy village cafe and grocery store in the eastern Kharkiv region, one of the deadliest attacks on civilians since the war began. However, the recent demonstrations were described as part of an “evolution of technical capabilities for the system,” and there was little indication that the pre-planned exercise was linked to these exploding global conflicts.
IBCS is the centerpiece of the U.S. military’s air and missile defense modernization strategy, according to Northrop Grumman. The system is designed to help troops stay connected remotely amid complex war and defense scenarios. Northrop Grumman described its IBCS as a means to address the historical issue of military forces that have “disconnected solutions to complete their mission on the battlefield.”
The system first collects and aggregates the mass of data provided by existing Army and Air Force sensors and effectors: such as the Sentinel anti-ballistic missiles, Avenger heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles and the National Advanced Surface-to-Air missile. Missile System (NASAMS).
The two successful demonstrations demonstrated IBCS’s ability to unite sensors and shooters – such as anti-missile launchers – to help the US military decide the best course of action needed to “outmaneuver and defeat complex threats.”
In their closing capital defense demonstration, Soldiers from the 263rd Air and Missile Defense Command used IBCS to “significantly expand the defended area across 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 for combat systems and mission readiness at Northrop Grumman. “Through the recent demonstrations in the National Capital Region,” Torzone explained, “IBCS demonstrated its capabilities in providing homeland defense against cruise missiles and other aerial threats. IBCS is now ready to meet the threats of tomorrow.”
Brigadier General Frank J. Lozano, the Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Missiles and Space, earlier this year spoke highly of the continued success of the effort. “The Army is proving it can and will succeed with its modernization plans as we continue to build momentum for the future,” Brig. said General Lozano.
“The sensor and effector integration this program brings to air and missile defense will ensure our warfighters are best equipped to provide air defense against enemy threats,” said Brig. General 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 the safety and security of our nation.”
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