Northrop Grumman building and upgrading missile defense sensor processing for the front lines

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Missile defense experts at Northrop Grumman Corp. are continuing a project to build and enhance a U.S. Army mobile sensor processing system designed to protect warfighters on the front lines from ballistic missile attack.

Sep 26th, 2017
Northrop Grumman building and upgrading missile defense sensor processing for the front lines
Northrop Grumman building and upgrading missile defense sensor processing for the front lines
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. –Missile defense experts at Northrop Grumman Corp. are continuing a project to build and enhance a U.S. Army mobile sensor processing system designed to protect warfighters on the front lines from ballistic missile attack.

Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., announced a $17.3 million order Monday the Northrop Grumman Mission Systems segment in Boulder, Colo., to continue developing and building the latest versions of the Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS).

The JTAGS) is the Army's part of the U.S. Strategic Command's Theater Event System (TES), which provides forward-deployed ballistic missile early warning, alerting, and cueing information to warfighters on the front lines.

It performs stereo processing of infrared missile warning data from orbiting military satellites such as the Defense Support Program (DSP) and Space Based Infrared (SBIRS) satellites.

Related: Sensors make-or-break ballistic missile defense

The system uses military communications networks such as the Integrated Broadcast Service (IBS) and Link 16 to disseminate information about potential ballistic missile attacks.

JTAGS is fielded in four sites on U.S. military installations outside the Continental U.S. and provides continuous support to combatant commander forces. JTAGS also has a fifth system inside the U.S. as a qualification trainer for new JTAGS operators.

Northrop Grumman introduced the original JTAGS equipment in the 1990s as a transportable information processing system designed to receive and process in-theater, raw, infrared data from as many as three DSP sensors.

The JTAGS is designed cue theater missile defense systems for rapid missile intercept to protect friendly forces and population centers. JTAGS’s advanced missile early warning and cueing system provides the combatant commander with the ability to warn, protect and defend theater operations.

Related: Raytheon to upgrade radar signal processing for missile-defense system in Thule, Greenland

Since 2012 Northrop Grumman has been working on the next-generation JTAGS in-theater ballistic missile warning system, which features improved sensor processing and sensor fusion capabilities; an open-systems architecture; plug-in software architecture for easy and rapid upgrades; and centralized security and sustainment.

The latest version of JTAGS has improved operator work stations; upgraded communications; a new operating system; enhanced data security; additional processing of the SBIRS staring sensor; modularized software; and network-centric features to share data with other theater operators.

On this order Northrop Grumman will do the work in Boulder, Colo., and should be finished by September 2021. For more information contact Northrop Grumman Mission Systems online at www.northropgrumman.com, or the Army Contracting Command-Redstone at http://acc.army.mil/contractingcenters/acc-rsa.

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