Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully demonstrated emerging command and control (C2) and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to the warfighting community during U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) exercise Empire Challenge 2010 (EC10).
EC10, held July 26 – Aug. 13 focused on demonstrating how U.S. and coalition forces can better collect, analyze and share relevant ISR information. Northrop Grumman participated in the event from Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and Suffolk, Va., with a variety of virtual systems, which included:
• The Bat family of affordable, multi-mission and persistent tactical unmanned aircraft systems.
• Global Hawk Block 40 with Multi-Platform Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) radar capabilities.
• Global Hawk Block 30 systems.
• An operationally responsive space-based ISR system with all-weather tactical sensor capabilities.
• E-2D Hawkeye with advanced sensor capabilities and potential future UAV control technologies.
• E-8C Joint STARS C2 with ISR Battle Management technologies.
“Northrop Grumman is well known for the collection capabilities of its ISR systems such as Joint STARS and Global Hawk,” said Chris Frangos, director of Advanced Program & Technology Division and Empire Challenge program manager.
“This event focused on the tasking, processing, exploitation, and dissemination (TPED) portion of the intelligence process to ensure the data generated by the Northrop Grumman systems are turned into actionable information and shared between joint and coalition warfighters.”
Northrop Grumman’s demonstrations were enabled by the company’s high-fidelity human-in-the-loop real-time simulation environment and a unique partnering agreement with USJFCOM. Under this Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), Northrop Grumman works jointly with the Command to refine Concepts of Operation (CONOPS) and Tactics Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) to enhance the warfighters’ ability to synchronize C2 and ISR with the military scheme of maneuver.
For its part, Northrop Grumman provides real-time/physics-based immersive modeling and simulation capabilities and USJFCOM provides the uniformed warfighters to participate in the research. The research arrangement has been beneficial to both partners, with Northrop Grumman gaining direct warfighter feedback on the value of future ISR products and enhancements under realistic operational conditions.
As part of the virtual system provided by Northrop Grumman to the EC10 event, the USJFCOM Joint Semi-Automated Forces (JSAF) tool was used to create a complex operational environment to augment the live range traffic during the event.
JSAF created hundreds of entities to include civilian foot traffic and vehicle traffic which made the task of finding and identifying hostile threats representative of real-world Irregular Warfare operational challenges. Red forces in the simulation were able to execute a variety of hostile actions such as mortar attacks, Improvised Explosive Device emplacements and kidnapping operations.
Of importance to the Blue ISR operations, not only were the final hostile actions modeled, but also the lead up and post attack activities. Both the virtual and live event activities were integrated together into a Common Operational Picture (COP) at all levels of the event, which served to stimulate live warfighter command and control activities.
More aerospace topics