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US Army and Northrop Grumman complete air and missile architecture review

19th July 2011 - 12:47 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The U.S. Army and Northrop Grumman Corporation have successfully completed an architecture review of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS). IBCS is the first major Army acquisition to proactively incorporate the evaluation as part of the procurement. The review assesses the impact of software architecture decisions on program requirements and business goals.

The assessment focused on quality attributes important to the Army Program Executive Office, Missiles and Space (PEO MS), including openness, maintainability, usability, reliability, availability and performance. The review was led by the Software Engineering Institute using the Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Methodology® (ATAM®).

"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® 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® 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® 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

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