The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Northrop Grumman Corp. have successfully completed multiple sessions of a missile defense war game for the second annual Ronald Reagan Missile Defense Forum, which was recently concluded at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.
War games are often used to demonstrate future ballistic missile defense system (BMDS) capabilities to the warfighting communities, allowing them to develop concepts of operations and tactics in advance of MDA’s future capability delivery.
Forum participants engaged in a war game that used a simulated 2020 scenario representing a future BMDS architecture in the European theater. Through 16 sessions, participants were provided an opportunity to experience the complexities of the missile defense mission.
“War games look at ‘the art of the possible’ for countering future threats and they are crucial for developing solutions comprising technical and tactical adjustments,” said Dan Verwiel, vice president of air and missile defense systems at Northrop Grumman Information Systems. “Through hands-on operations and close observations, forum participants gained appreciation for how promptly they must react, coordinate and make decisions when facing the complex environment and short timelines typical of the ballistic missile challenge.”
Northrop Grumman developed the war game under the MDA’s Joint National Integration Center Research and Development Contract (JRDC) with direction from the MDA branch chief of war games and experiments. The company drew from its wealth of JRDC experience integrating BMDS elements to affordably complete the war game under a compressed schedule, reducing the cost by approximately 50 percent and the project timeline by 40 percent as compared to a standard war game. The war game threats were coordinated with the JRDC Threat Modeling Center for accuracy.
As the prime contractor of the JRDC, Northrop Grumman leads a world-class team to conduct BMDS-level modeling and simulation, ground and flight tests, war games, exercises, analysis and operations in Colorado Springs, CO; Huntsville, AL; and other locations.