US Army air and missile defence testing face severe delays

US Army air and missile defence testing face severe delays

COVID-19 is an ongoing challenge for US Army’s air and missile system testing as the service’s Air and Missile Defence Cross-Functional Team (CFT) experience testing delays with its Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) and Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defence (IM-SHORAD) vehicle.

Several CFT development efforts including Raytheon’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defence Sensor (LTAMDS) and fielding an Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC) now faces severe delays on testing. According to reports, the CFT is currently focused on testing slips to IBCS and IM-SHORAD due to current testing phases and programme maturity.

The agency will try to protect outcomes, especially the upcoming fielding dates.

IBCS is the US Army’s effort for the next-generation missile defence-control network for the country’s full-range of sensor-to-shooter new capabilities.

IBCS enhanced aircraft and missile tracking is designed to improve the ability of combatant commanders and air defenders to make critical decisions within seconds. With its open systems architecture, IBCS enables integration of current and future sensors and weapon systems and interoperability with joint C2 and the Ballistic Missile Defence System.

The army aims to have an initial capability ready by 2022.

Northrop Grumman is the vendor currently under contract to develop the capability.

The US Army planned an IBCS limited-user test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to be conducted in May. However, the pandemic restrictions forced the service to delay the tests.

Matteo Natalucci

Matteo Natalucci is a geopolitics expert working as an Editor in London covering all aspects of international affairs and technology. Matteo previously worked for the United Nations, the European Commission, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, IHS Markit, and Global Data. Get in touch with the author: matteo.natalucci@internationalinsider.org