PART VIII – NORTHROP GRUMMAN WIRES UP FOR CYBER WARFARE
BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold visits CWIC at Northrop Grumman’s ISS Melbourne facility.
The U.S. Department of Defense’s dream concept is to have a seamless sensor-to-shooter capability available 24 hours a day seven days a week to its armed forces anywhere in the world. The integration of the surveillance, reconnaissance and precision strike capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces is crucial to defeat the present terrorist threat. To achieve this, the U.S Armed Forces must be provided with integrated systems which operate in partnership to attain these goals. Whereas in previous wars the enemy was a known factor and his positions well documented, today’s terrorist strikes anywhere, anyhow utilising military and non-military strategies. The success of the Afghan conflict was marred in some areas by the failure of the surveillance data being translated into a precision strike order within minutes of that data being analysed, thus a number of key personnel were able to escape. But having said that the growing use of precision bombing during the Afghan campaign coupled to expensive use of Predator and Global Hawk UAV assets proved the senor-to-shooter concept.
Systems integration (SI) has come to be viewed as a core capability within the defense industry. Not only does it play a key role in transforming militaries into a networked environment, SI itself has been transformed in recent years, from integrating systems on a single platform, such as an individual aircraft, to applications at many levels-from platforms to battlespaces to entire regions of conflict. This overview of SI demonstrates how it engages many disciplines within the defense field, including IT, defense electronics, aircraft systems and ship systems.
The application of this dream concept has been taken up with gusto by Northrop Grumman, the world’s leading systems integration company. The growth by acquisition, reported so extensively by BATTLESPACE, by Kent Kresa and his corporate team is targetted at the establishment of a complete senor-to-shooter capability from space to ground. (See CORPORATE AMERICA RESPONDS, PART ). For fifty years Northrop Grumman has been the U.S. Airforce’s systems integrator of choice having built such systems as B2, Global Hawk, J-STARS, RTIP, E2 and many others. BATTLESPACE visited Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Integrated Systems Headquarters in Melbourne Florida to see the new Cyber Warfare Integration Centre (CWIC) facility.
Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Integrated Systems sector (ISS) enters the 21st century on track to become the world’s best airborne systems integration enterprise. Overall, the company conceives, designs, develops and produces complex surveillance, strike and structural systems. Integrated Systems focuses on the design, production and delivery of systems solutions, products, services and life-cycle support.
ISS is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise with the capabilities to design, develop, produce and support fully missionized airborne systems and subsystems, to satisfy a complete array of customer needs in:
Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare Systems Based in Bethpage, New York, with sites in St. Augustine, Florida; Cecil Commerce Center, near Jacksonville, Florida; Point Mugu, California; and various Field Support Services locations.
Airborne Ground Surveillance and Battle Management Systems, based in Melbourne, Florida, with an additional site in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Air Combat Systems, based in El Segundo, California, with sites in Palmdale and San Diego, California; New Town, North Dakota; Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri; Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma; and Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
In addition Northrop has at its disposal the considerable capabilities of its battlelabs that it operates with the DoD.
These facilities provide high quality experimental, developmental and demonstratio