Missile Defense Agency Moves Closer to Joint Interoperability Vision with Recent Test

Two F-35 Lightning II’s bank after receiving fuel over the Midwest Sept. 19, 2019.

Two F-35 Lightning II’s bank after receiving fuel over the Midwest Sept. 19, 2019. Ben Mota/Air Force

Two MDA-developed systems successfully linked sensors to shooters in an integrated network. 

The Missile Defense Agency successfully tied various sensors and fire control systems from different services into one integrated network in a “huge step toward joint interoperability,” according to a Wednesday press release. 

Services and components across the Defense Department are revamping command and control in order to be able to conduct joint warfighting. The Joint All-Domain Command and Control project is largely founded on figuring out how to integrate disparate systems securely in order to facilitate the sharing of data at speed.

During a July 15 test at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, two systems developed by MDA—the Joint Track Management Capability and Open Systems Gateway—established a “composite tracking network” that allowed for integrated fire control across systems for each of the military services. While JTMC allowed two fire control networks to link up and reeled in data from Marine Corps radar, OSG brought in data from two F-35s. 

Vice Adm. Jon Hill, MDA director, said in the press release the integration, which enabled an Army Patriot interceptor to successfully engage a cruise missile target at the sametime it was under electronic attack, gives warfighters right-sensor-right-shooter capabilities. 

“Using technology developed by the MDA team, this demonstrated a truly joint, cross-service kill chain,” Hill said. 

According to the press release, MDA will hold more JTMC and OSG demonstrations later this year.