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BMC3I Battle Management, Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence

Effective BM/C3 conserves the number of interceptors required by improving weapon system fire distribution and coordination and through sensor fusion. It provides multiple information paths between sensors, shooters, and control locations to combat sensor outages and jamming. BM/C3 weapon cueing information also increases battlespace and depth of fire, improves defense against long-range threats, and increases the defended area. For attack operations, BM/C3 helps locate the threat and improve probability to shooting the shooter first. BM/C3 also supports passive defense measures by providing greater early warning and faster reaction times.

The BM/C3I architecture for TMD is built upon the existing command and control (C2) structure for Theater Air Defense (TAD) and adds the communications linking TMD C2 nodes, weapons, and sensors, and the TMD interfaces to intelligence systems and other supporting capabilities. The BMDO oversees independent weapon systems development and to provides guidance, standards, equipment, integration, and analysis to maximize the performance of a multitude of sensors, interceptors, and C2 nodes and to synergize their individual contributions to an integrated Joint theater-wide TMD system. Interoperability in BMC3I is essential for joint TMD operations. Accordingly, BMDO established an architecture that all the Services can build upon and is actively pursuing three thrusts to ensure an effective and joint BMC3I for TMD. These three thrusts are:

  • improving early warning and dissemination,
  • ensuring communications interoperability, and
  • upgrading command and control centers for TMD functions

The primary goal is to provide the warfighter with an integrated TMD capability by building-in the interoperability and flexibility to satisfy a wide range of threats and scenarios. From its joint perspective, BMDO oversees the various independent weapon systems developments and provides guidance, standards, equipment and system integration and analysis to integrate the multitude of sensors, interceptors, and tactical command centers into a joint theater-wide TMD architecture.

The NMD BMC3 program provided the capability for the designated operational commander to plan, coordinate, direct, and control NMD weapons and sensors. BMC3 has always been identified as one of the most difficult issues associated with an NMD system. Unlike the other elements, this is not primarily a hardware issue, but rather a software development challenge. This development program is using a "build-a-little, test-a-little" philosophy to deliver a core BMC3 capability to the user for assessment. This effort also includes exercises and wargames to validate BMC3 concepts and exercising the evolving BMC3 system during every test.

Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) would provide the rules, tools, displays and connectivity to enable the proposed BMDS to engage threat missiles. C2BMC would be the overall integrator of the BMDS. C2BMC would consist of electronic equipment and software that enable military commanders to receive and process information, make decisions, and communicate those decisions regarding the engagement of threat missiles. This would include computer workstations installed in existing infrastructure at certain locations, and may include new fiber optic cable, radios, and satellite communications.

C2BMC would be designed and built to provide war fighters with the capability to effectively plan and execute the MDA's mission. C2BMC would integrate and expand existing capabilities that provide the flexibility to exploit a wide range of tactics, techniques and procedures and BM options. The goal of C2BMC is to achieve seamlessness in a layered defense through coordinated C2 and integrated fire control.

Specifically, C2BMC would receive, process, and display tracking and status data from multiple elements, components and sensors so that local commanders at various locations would have the same integrated operating picture and could make coordinated decisions about deploying weapons. This would allow the central command structure to use the most effective weapons to engage threat ballistic missiles in all flight phases. The BMDS C2BMC includes three primary parts, Command and Control (C2), Battle Management (BM), and Communications that would operate in an integrated fashion across all BMDS components.

C2 would provide a flexible, integrated architecture to plan, direct, control and monitor BMDS activities. C2 would provide decision-aid applications that integrate information and recommendations for defensive options in near real-time to develop the operational war fighting aids required for formulating and implementing informed decisions and reduce decision cycles. This would permit quick redirection and reallocation of assets based on rapidly changing situations and threats. C2 also would integrate the Unified Commands, North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other allies, friends, and other external systems to which C2 would connect.

BM would control the launching or firing of missiles and integrate the kill chain functions (surveillance, detect/track/classify, engage and assess) across the layered defenses (boost, midcourse and terminal). Initially, BM would provide the means for executing preplanned responses by integrating available information to provide near real-time tasking and status. As the BMDS evolves, BM would evolve to provide the user with increased automation, capability, and ability to integrate information from increasingly diverse resources. Advancements in BM are intended to further increase the battle space with continued improvements in tracking and discrimination information, sensor netting, operability with coalition partners, near real time intelligence, battlefield learning and dynamic planning, and integrated BM execution using disparate sensors and firing units.

Communications would allow all BMDS components to exchange data and network with BMDS assets. The goal of BMDS communications is to provide robust networks that manage the dissemination of the information necessary to perform the C2 and BM objectives. The communications networks would seamlessly connect BMDS components and link them with other applicable DoD and non-DoD networks and assets as required. The network infrastructure would make optimal use of existing data and information conduits and protocols.

The long-term development of the C2BMC would begin with planning and monitoring the autonomous operation of elements with stand-alone capability and expand to the centralized and integrated control of the BMDS. Currently, each BMDS element, such as THAAD, PAC-3, or ABL operates or is designed to operate as an autonomous unit, each with stand-alone capability and with its own BM, C2 and communications system (i.e., element-specific BMC3). C2BMC would fuse the data of these BMC3 components by integrating communications to provide a more robust picture of the operational arena.

For example, a BMDS element like the PAC-3 has an internal or organic BMC3 component that transfers needed data from its data-gathering sensors (e.g., satellites and radars) to its local military commander. Using the information, the local military commander can make a BM decision to launch a weapon at the incoming threat ballistic missile. The BMDS C2BMC would capture and display tracking and status data from multiple existing and proposed weapon systems' BMC3 systems and sensors so that local commanders at various locations would have the same integrated operating picture and could make coordinated decisions about deploying weapons. C2BMC would include existing and new land-, sea-, air- and space-based C2BMC systems.

In an integrated BMDS, C2BMC would ensure interoperability with other BMDS components in reacting to the threat. For example, if an ABL sensor identifies the presence of an incoming ballistic missile, the information would be transmitted to the BMDS C2BMC. In coordination with other incoming information across the BMDS, a decision could be made that an Aegis cruiser launching a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) would be the most effective element to engage and negate the threat missile. The commander of the cruiser would have real-time knowledge of the decision to quickly launch an SM-3 interceptor against the threat missile.

The MDA plans to improve the internal BMC3 capabilities of each BMDS element and to develop and continually upgrade the overall BMDS C2BMC. New or additional sensors and communications nodes would be incorporated, as well as new target discrimination algorithms, as they are developed.

Various U.S. command centers would eventually house a C2BMC node. A node is a set of equipment and processes that performs the communications functions at the end of the data links that interconnect those elements, which are resident on the networks. C2BMC nodes are located at geographically dispersed facilities and receive and display tracking and status data from multiple BMDS components so that local commanders can make coordinated decisions about deploying weapons. Each node consists of electronic equipment, software, computer workstations, radios, fiber optic cables, and communication devices. Nodes at various locations integrate and communicate data using this hardware and software to support C2 and BM activities. Each of these nodes would receive and display the same data to local commanders so that they can make coordinated decisions about weapons use.

Sources and Resources

TMD Battle Management/Command, Control, Communications & Intelligence
Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) Battle Management/Command, Control, Communications & Intelligence (BMC3I) is one of the most important functions of the BMD, and is essential in order to exploit the full capabilities of the core Theater Missile Defense (TMD) weapons systems. Successful BMC3I increases the time available to engage hostile missiles, increases the effective allocation of interceptors, and reduces the potential for "leakers" -- attacking missiles that penetrate U.S. defenses.

NMD Battle Management Command, Control, and Communications
Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) Battle Management Command, Control, and Communications (BMC3) project is focused on developing tactically representative hardware and software to integrate National Missile Defense (NMD) Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) and sensor operations in support of informed command and control (C2) decision making.

U.S. Army Theater Missile Defense Element (ATMDE)
News From The Front (NFTF!)"The Army Theater Missile Defense Element (ATMDE) was conceived and built to fill the need for a battle management facility to synchronize and energize Army TMD operations. The resulting TMD Force Projection TOC was built in less than six months. It uses existing or off-the-shelf capabilities, as it serves as an information engine for the Joint Force Land Component Commander (JFLCC).

The Cooperative Engagement Capability
APL Technical DigestOctober-December 1995, Volume 16, Number 4

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Page last modified: 21-07-2011 13:04:05 ZULU