Military commanders' access to more accurate and timely information for decision-making and implementing time-critical actions can increase dramatically based on a recent Boeing [NYSE: BA] demonstration of the Battle Management Command and Control System (BMC2) prototype.
The BMC2 System, being developed for the U.S. Air Force, was demonstrated late last year at Boeing facilities in Mesa, Ariz. Operators used workstations with displays incorporating 3-D visualization and graphics to simultaneously locate, identify and plan strike missions for multiple ground targets and defend against multiple air threats. The targets and threats included tanks, low-flying aircraft and cruise missiles.
Led by Boeing Phantom Works Integrated Defense Advanced Systems (IDeAS), the team also includes General Dynamics and BAE SYSTEMS Mission Solutions.
"This test was another positive step in proving the Boeing team's open architecture solution is on track for providing transformational network-centric operation capabilities," said Rick Baily, Boeing Phantom Works IDeAS vice president and deputy general manager. "The BMC2 system will allow commanders to execute their missions effectively based on unprecedented access to timely and accurate information."
The demonstration proved the Boeing team's ability to meet stringent operational timing requirements set by the Air Force.
As part of the Air Force's vision to evolve into a network-centric capable force, BMC2 enables a battle management system that integrates theater-wide sensors; command, control, communications; and weapons tasking to maximize the warfighter's effectiveness. The prototype, demonstrated in late 2003, met these demanding requirements through the use of a Boeing-developed integrated operating environment that accommodates and simplifies the use of both new and legacy mission software services.
Unlike current systems, the Boeing prototype demonstrated new services can be integrated with little or no change to the infrastructure itself. In addition, the Boeing BMC2 System enables interoperability and information management while serving as a node within the network centric environment. The result is a single network to support air and ground surveillance and targeting within the integrated battle space.
BMC2 operators view a display much like ones on personal computers and use a Human Machine Interface (HMI) framework to control numerous applications and tasks simultaneously. The demonstration proved that operator displays are user friendly, which simplifies operational use and training.
The Boeing team also captured data showing that program risks for meeting challenging development cost and schedule requirements were reduced significantly by the virtual collaboration methods used to prepare for and conduct the demonstration.
Boeing Phantom Works is the advanced research and development unit and a catalyst of innovation for The Boeing Company. It provides advanced solutions and innovative, breakthrough technologies that reduce cycle time and cost while improving the quality and performance of aerospace products and services.