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Video Above: U.S. Army AI Uses Human Brain as a Combat "Sensor"

By Kris Osborn - President & Editor-In-Chief, Warrior Maven

(Washington, DC) The Marine Corps and Navy are looking to further synergize a land-sea integrated attack approach built upon a cross-domain information sharing strategy aimed at carving new space for maritime, land and amphibious attack.

“The Marine Corps must be able to fight at sea, from the sea, and from the land to the sea; operate and persist within range of adversary long-range fires; maneuver across the seaward and landward portions of complex littorals; and sense, shoot, and sustain while combining the physical and information domains to achieve desired outcomes,” a strategy paper called Marine Corps Force Design 2030 writes.

Maneuvering into attack position, it would seem clear, might be entirely different should targeting and surveillance specifics be arriving in seconds from various nodes across a “meshed” or interconnected data network. 

Faster, more precise firepower, enabled by sensor gathered, distilled and organized pools of otherwise disparate sources of incoming data, can mean finding, attacking and even destroying an enemy more quickly. 

A Networked Military

These variables, therefore, when viewed as an integrated or networked “whole” can merge classic Corps’ warfare concepts such as maneuver warfare and the use of heavy, yet precise firepower, combined to introduce unprecedented combat dynamics. 

Detecting and thwarting anti-ship missiles more quickly and at greater ranges, made possible in part by advanced networking and sensor systems such as Northrop Grumman’s Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 and a Northrop Grumman radar system called The AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). 

SEWIP Block 3

The SEWIP Block 3 Engineering Development Model System in the Northrop Grumman High Bay Integration Lab in Baltimore, Md. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

G/ATOR is intended to successfully enable more dispersed, yet interconnected multi-domain maritime warfare. This brings the advantage of proximity while simultaneously allowing both greater stand-off range and a much wider operational combat area within which to maneuver and conduct operations.

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This is why Northrop Grumman is looking at ways to further integrate its Navy-specific networking technologies with its Army, network enabled Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) command and control program. 

Employing common technical standards, a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) design, and a dispersed base of ground platforms including Patriot Missiles and Sentinel Radars, IBCS seeks to find incoming threats and seamlessly integrate threat track data across a network of defensive combat “nodes” set up to speed up sensor awareness across the force and massively improve the sensor to shooter or interceptor fire control loop. 

In fact, IBCS has already operated with aerial platforms such as an F-35, so it would not be at all surprising to see ship-based AESA woven into some kind of joint IBCS-like system.

In fact, in July of this year, the U.S. Army successfully engaged a cruise missile target in a highly contested electronic attack environment during a developmental flight test using IBCS. 

The test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico demonstrated the integration of IBCS and G/ATOR, and incorporated first-time live testing and demonstration of a Joint Track Manager Capability (JTMC). 

Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS).

The latest flight test integrated the widest variety of sensors to date on the IFCN for an IBCS test, including one Marine Corps G/ATOR, two Army Sentinel radars, one Army Patriot radar and two U.S. Air Force F-35 fighter aircraft.

This provided a bridge between IBCS and the Navy’s Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), enabling the integration of G/ATOR track data on the IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN) to enable a successful intercept of the cruise missile. The flight test also incorporated two F-35 combat aircraft integrated on the IFCN with on board sensors contributing to the IBCS developed joint composite track used to perform the engagement.

Certainly something along these lines would align with the overall vision of the Pentagon’s critical JADC2 effort.

-- Kris Osborn is the President of Warrior Maven and The Defense Editor of The National Interest --

Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.