Software Issues Rattle Pentagon’s New Air Defense System

US troops from the 5th Battalion of the 7th Air Defense Regiment emplace a launching station of the Patriot air and missile defence system at a test range in Sochaczew, Poland.file photo

Grumman describes ICBS as, “a revolutionary command-and-control system developed to deliver a single, unambiguous view of the battlespace. This significantly enhanced aircraft and missile tracking improves the ability of combatant commanders and air defenders to make critical decisions within seconds.”

ICBS will replace the Raytheon-made Patriot, the Army’s current command system, and include integrated fire-control network relays, hardware-interface equipment, and an Engagement Operations Center.

All future air and missile systems will be connected on the battlefield through the system as well.

According to the report, the service was slated to reach initial operational capability in the 2019 fiscal year, but plans to enter the production phase by November 2016 were held up “until IBCS software deficiencies are resolved in accordance with contracted requirements.”

“These accomplishments prove the IBCS objective, architecture and design are sound, and test results reinforce our confidence in the transformational capabilities,” according to the statement.During a spring 2016 limited user test, the director of Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) found that the ICBS software was “neither mature nor stable as evidenced in numerous software problem reports,” adding that these issues augmented the EOC’s “reduced reliability,” and that workstations “often became sluggish or ceased to operate.”