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NGC and US Army: Major Army Program Acquisition

The U.S. Army and Northrop Grumman Corporation have successfully completed anarchitecture review of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) BattleCommand System (IBCS). IBCS is the first major Army acquisition to proactivelyincorporate the evaluation as part of the procurement. The review assesses theimpact of software architecture decisions on program requirements and businessgoals.The assessment focused on quality attributes important to the Army ProgramExecutive Office, Missiles and Space (PEO MS), including openness,maintainability, usability, reliability, availability and performance. Thereview was led by the Software Engineering Institute using the ArchitectureTradeoff Analysis Methodology(r) (ATAM(r)).

“The Army and Northrop Grumman are pioneering the formal assessment of  open software architectures, something the Defense Department has been trying  to achieve for many years,” said Bob Thomas, Army program manager for  IBCS, Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Ala. “We are pleased to have a  programmatic opportunity to bring open architectures and associated attributes  to the mainstream of the acquisition process. The required ATAM(r) review is an  Army first for a high-profile, major development program with large-scale  integration and a complex operational environment.”

Software architectures are complex and involve design decisions and tradeoffs  that have far-reaching consequences. Such decisions are critical as they are  the most difficult to change after a system has been implemented. A formal  analysis process ensures the architectural decisions made appropriately  mitigate risks.

“Northrop Grumman is proud to be part of the Army’s innovative efforts to achieve open and sustainable weapon system architectures that are so important to more affordable and effective capabilities,” said Kelley Zelickson, vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems for Northrop Grumman Information Systems. “We believe a rigorous development process that continuously involves our customer communities is key to successfully delivering these capabilities to our warfighters.”

The IBCS ATAM(r) review was a scenario-based, in-depth architecture analysis involving government and industry program stakeholders from systems engineering, design, development, test, logistics and the user community. The ATAM(r) identifies architecture-related risks, non-risks, sensitivities and tradeoffs that encourage information exchange and present opportunities for improvement.

The IBCS program will provide the Army with its first truly open-architecture and mission-tailorable battle command system for air and missile defense units. The system will also utilize an integrated fire control network based on a track management solution to provide vastly improved tools. This will enable IBCS to supply warfighters with the data to make time-sensitive tactical decisions under the most demanding conditions and significantly enhance joint IAMD operations.

Source : Northrop Grumman Corporation

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