COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Feb. 17, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), in partnership with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, completed a five-day wargame this month at the Joint National Integration Center (JNIC), where many operator crews trained for the first time on the nation's anti-missile system equipment -- from their home bases -- via a link to the wargame center.
In addition to providing crew certification, the game was one in a series that supports the test and development of missile-defense concepts of operations in order to analyze how the system works under varying circumstances.
Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector has been the prime contractor at the JNIC, the nation's premier missile-defense wargaming center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., for nearly a decade and plays a key role in the agency's wargaming, simulation, and system test and integration.
The event, known as Integrated Missile Defense 4.5, linked operator crews to the JNIC from the individual combatant commands. The game also included the first live hook-up to an Aegis ship in the Pacific Ocean and an "enclave" of weapons system models and simulations at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii that represented how theater missile activity "communicates" with the entire simulation.
"In addition to giving missile-defense operator crews realistic practice on their equipment, the scenarios also presented situations that had to be coordinated through other agencies and organizations -- all having a vested interest in the battle's outcome," said Buz Gibson, Northrop Grumman vice president and program manager at the JNIC. "These simulations dramatically showed how rapidly participating groups must coordinate, respond and make decisions."
The software that drove each scenario was the JNIC's chief wargame simulation tool -- Missile Defense Wargame & Analysis Resource (MDWAR) software. The MDWAR software was created by Northrop Grumman, and its JNIC teammates -- including Raytheon Company and SPARTA, Inc. -- to provide a simulated environment that enables operators to communicate using the same protocols used by the current ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) system. Participants practiced on the latest version of the GMD battle-management software -- a complex software package developed by Northrop Grumman under contract to the GMD prime contractor, The Boeing Company.
"This provides a great deal of realism for the crews, who can now practice battle operations and certification procedures using the same equipment they will operate during actual alert duties," said Gibson.
Each day included up to four scenarios where crews were confronted with realistic warfighting problems and the compressed timelines typical of the ballistic-missile environment. They used the tools, methods, capabilities and limitations of the current ballistic-missile defense system to thwart an attack. Each scenario was followed by an after-action review where analysts collected data and player impressions to determine where modifications or improvements needed to be made.
Northrop Grumman leads the simulation and wargaming initiatives at the JNIC, executing approximately 15 wargames per year of varying complexity to represent today's missile-defense capability. The JNIC will continue to support wargames and exercises and provide a facility for certification of new GMD crews. Northrop Grumman employs more than 300 personnel and oversees approximately 500 teammate subcontractor personnel at the JNIC facility.
From detection, to tracking, to engagement, Northrop Grumman is bringing its entire suite of expertise to bear on the development of a global layered missile-defense capability for our nation, allies and deployed forces. In boost phase, Northrop Grumman leads an industry team on the Kinetic Energy Interceptors program and is developing the chemical laser portion of the Airborne Laser. For the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program, Northrop Grumman provides the critical GMD fire control/communications system. In the area of sensors, the company is prime for the Space Tracking and Surveillance System and is currently the prime on the Defense Support Program. In modeling and simulation, Northrop Grumman is prime at the Joint National Integration Center.
Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, Va., is a global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and civil government markets. The sector's technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as strategic systems, including ICBMs; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; command and control; and technical services and training.
CONTACT: Marynoele Benson Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (703) 741-7723 firstname.lastname@example.org