As announced in a recent press release, Lockheed Martin, as prime contractor leading a consortium of five major defense contractors (with Northrop Grumman serving as the principal subcontractor), has been awarded a follow-on contract with an estimated value of $980M to continue work on the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications program (C2BMC) for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. The contractors, known as the Missile Defense National Team, will continue development, operations, and sustainment work.
The C2BMC program is the "integrating element" for the Ballistic Missile Defense System and links the various sensors and weapon systems. The system is the force multiplier providing capabilities to integrate and globally synchronize missile defense systems and operations, providing an optimized, layered defense against all ranges of threats and in all phases of flight.
The Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) program is the hub of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). It is a vital operational system that enables the U.S. president, secretary of defense and combatant commanders at strategic, regional and operational levels to systematically plan ballistic missile defense operations, to collectively see the battle develop, and to dynamically manage designated networked sensors and weapons systems to achieve global and regional mission objectives. C2BMC globally links, integrates and synchronizes individual missile defense elements, systems and operations, and therefore, it is an integral part of all system ground and flight tests which verify and exercise all current and future BMDS capabilities. The C2BMC system receives, processes, and displays tracking and status data from interconnected elements so that commanders at various locations have the same integrated operating picture and can make coordinated decisions about deploying weapons. This allows the central command structure to use the most effective weapons to engage threat ballistic missiles in all flight phases.
Through its operational software and networks, the C2BMC program provides redundant connectivity and enables on-site operations and sustainment for global combatant commanders. It provides key BMDS operational services through five product lines:
- Ballistic Missile Defense Planner: it provides warfighters the capability to explore the effectiveness of various defensive plans, and supports three types of planning crossing all phases of military operations: Adaptive/Deliberate, Crisis Action, and Dynamic Planning.
- Command and Control: C2BMC provides situational awareness by turning detailed data into decision quality information combatant commanders can employ in the event of a missile threat, and it also emphasizes a common, single, integrated ballistic missile picture and provides the status of the overall BMDS, from the president down to the operational levels of command.
- Global Engagement Manager: C2BMC provides the first true BMDS battle management capability and acts as a force multiplier to achieve integrated, layered ballistic missile defense through improved sensor resource management and engagement coordination.
- Ballistic Missile Defense Network: C2BMC aligns and integrates the individual sensors and weapon elements of the BMDS, and it provides robust, high-availability connectivity to quickly and unambiguously share information across the global BMDS.
- Concurrent Test, Training, and Operations: C2BMC meets the warfighter’s requirements for a capability to sustain BMDS operations while supporting concurrent Research, Development, Test & Evaluation and maintenance. In addition, C2BMC enables the warfighter to conduct distributed, high–fidelity, end-to-end training for missile defense operations.
The system will control the launching or firing of missiles and integrate the kill chain functions (surveillance, detect/track/classify, engage and assess) across the layered defenses (boost, midcourse and terminal). As the whole BMDS evolves, the system will provide the user with increased automation, capability, and ability to integrate information from increasingly diverse resources. System advancements will further increase situation awareness with continued improvements in tracking and discrimination information, sensor netting, operability with coalition partners, near real time intelligence, battlefield learning and dynamic planning.
“The team is providing in-depth technical knowledge to achieve the newest, most evolved capabilities for the Ballistic Missile Defense System,” said John Osborn, director of Missile Defense Systems for Lockheed Martin IS&GS-Defense. “The historical knowledge of the mission, along with our proven implementation of creative solutions, as developed on C2BMC since 2002, will result in continuity of operations for the fielded C2BMC capabilities located worldwide and evolving challenges to come.”
The U.S. DoD has treated ballistic missile defense as a priority since the mid-1980s and has invested tens of billions of dollars to research and develop such capabilities.
In 2002 two key events transformed DoD’s approach in this area: the Secretary of Defense consolidated existing missile defense elements into a single acquisition program and placed them under the management of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and the President directed MDA to begin fielding an initial configuration, or block, of missile defense capabilities in 2004.
U.S. MDA was assigned the mission to develop and field a Ballistic Missile Defense System capable of defeating ballistic missiles of all ranges in all phases of flight. In particular, the system was intended to defend the U.S. homeland against intercontinental ballistic missile attacks and to protect deployed U.S. armed forces, which were operating in or near hostile territories, against short-and medium-range ballistic missiles. Additionally, the BMDS was designed to evolve into a system that would be capable of defending friends and allies of the United States.
The "Block 2004 BMDS" requested by the U.S. Government was based upon the capabilities developed in legacy programs, i.e. the GMD (Ground-Based Midcourse Defense), Aegis BMD (Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense), and Patriot elements, and it was viewed as a collection of semi-autonomous missile defense systems interconnected and coordinated through the Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) element.
MDA formally initiated the C2BMC program in 2002 as the integrating and controlling element of the BMDS.
References: Lockheed Martin (1), U.S. MDA (2), DefenseIndustryDaily (3), GlobalSecurity.org (4), GAO.gov (5)