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Time Critical Targeting (TCT) Cell

The Electronic Systems Center, Combat Air forces Command and Control Directorate, serving as the Executive Agent for the Aerospace Command, Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center (ASC2ISRC), seeks to develop and field a Time Critical Targeting (TCT) Cell. The TCT Cell will enable the Combat Air Force's (CAF) Air Operations Centers (AOCs) to greatly reduce the timeline to find, fix, track, target, engage, and assess TCTs.

A Time Critical Target (TCT) is defined as a time sensitive target with an extremely limited window of vulnerability or opportunity, the attack of which is critical to ensure successful completion of the Joint Force Commander's operations. By definition, TCTs rank high on the Joint Integrated Prioritized Target List. A successful TCT Cell will incorporate intelligence preparation of the battlespace applications, terrain analysis applications, target development and nomination applications, weapon-target pairing applications and other applications and data as may be appropriate to yield an integrated capability. The integrated capability thus created will successfully identify TCTs and make knowledge-based weapon tasking recommendations within the threshold timelines outlined in the Draft Time Critical Targeting (TCT) Cell Operational Requirements Document (ORD) dated 20 Jun 00.

The TCT Cell will interface with Theater Battle Management Core System (TBMCS) [Lockheed Martin contract] services and become an integral part of the AOC Combat Operations Division. TCT Cell will be an essentially dependent configuration of integrated software applications on common workstations, servers, and necessary modules to interface with new or organic, existing communications of the supported Air Operations Center. TCT component parts will feature "plug and play" capability to draw from the C2 node's existing support infrastructure for power, connectivity, and data support. The TCT Cell will conform to the rapidly deployable, small footprint construct of the Expeditionary Air Force (EAF). At the same time, an accommodation must be made for graceful degradation in TBMCS or other support to TCT Cell (particularly NRT database segments on TCT servers, alternate communication paths to receive Moving Target Indicator (MTI) feeds or to task assets, etc.). This will allow continued processing of available TCT information as the operator may see fit to employ and to satisfy key performance parameters (KPPs) outlined in the Draft TCT ORD.

Following successful operational test of the first system, it is envisioned that software and hardware to support TCT Cell will be deployed at an additional four operational locations worldwide. A prototype TCT Cell, known as the Software Interoperability Facility for TCTs (SWIFT), has been developed by a contracting team led by Zel Technologies, LLC and including ALPHATECH and TRW. The SWIFT, currently operating at the Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom AFB, MA, consists of a UNIX-based COTS hardware suite configured with a baseline set of TCT applications running on the TBMCS v 1.0.1, build 2.1.3.5 and the Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating Environment (DII COE) v. 3.3.0.0. The current SWIFT effort integrates the following TCT applications: Automated Assistance with Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace (A2IPB). Time Critical Targeting Aid (TCTA) FY 97 Plus, Attack Operations Decision Aid (AODA) and Joint Terrain Analysis Toolkit (JTAT). Additional enhancements and software application interfaces are envisioned to be added to the production TCT Cell to meet objective operational requirements as outlined in the Draft TCT ORD.

Examples include the ability to manage Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance assets via an interface to ISR Battle Management (ISR BATMAN) prototype software. Another example is to provide theater missile event and warning information via an interface to Launch and Impact Prediction software (Enhanced Early Warning software application [E2W]) as well as an interface to Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Dispersion Prediction software. The production design will consider these and other applications with a plan and timetable for insertion into the production system. TCT Cell is intended to augment existing TBMCS hardware and software capabilities. TCT Cell software applications and hardware will fall under the same maintenance management and support concept employed for TBMCS.

A contract was awarded in FY01 to include elements for design, development, integration test and deployment of a fielded TCT capability at five locations, software enhancements through FY 07 and a training and support package for the life of the system. The five TCT Cell systems will be delivered over a 3 year period beginning in FY 03.



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