Battle Control System-Fixed [BCS-F]
On 16 February 2007 the Battle Control System-Fixed [BCS-F] took up the mission for airspace over all U.S. states, Canada and the surrounding waters. It is the successor to the NORAD Contingency Suite (NCS), which was quickly cobbled together in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. NCS was still used in the Washington region, owing to an inability of BCS-F to connect to the local radar network. NCS remained in place in the Washington region until the next BCS-F development cycle, Spiral 3, fielded in 2009.
As prime contractor, ThalesRaytheonSystems provides advanced technology that features increased sensor capacity while improving interoperability among hundreds of legacy sensors, including more types of radars than any other Air Force system. It correlates and fuses data from airborne, ground, naval and civil air traffic sensors into an integrated air picture that allows commanders to monitor the airspace above, beyond and within the U.S. and Canadian borders.
Increment 2 was delivered and installed in 2006, BCS-F system IOC occurred on October 31, 2006. Milestone A was not conducted. Program initiation (Milestone B) occurred in August 2004; at that time IOC was planned for August 2008. On Sept. 6, 2007 ThalesRaytheonSystems has received a $25.6 million contract to provide the U.S. Air Force with capability upgrades to the Battle Control System-Fixed (BCS-F) for Air Combat Command, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense) and Air Forces Northern (AFNORTH). In December 2007, the Milestone Decision Authority conducted a review of the BCS-F program performance, schedule, and cost. To properly document the work to be performed in Increment 3, a new baseline was established. IOC for Increment 3 was anticipated in August 2009.
On December 6, 2002 a Notice of Contract Action (NOCA) was issued that the Government intended to issue a competitive solicitation for the Battle Control System (BCS) - Fixed (Spiral 1) program, an open-architecture command and control system that will support strategic and tactical level battle management functions. The solicitation consists of a firm requirement for BCS-F and priced option, based on funds availability, for all other actions. The anticipated release of the solicitation was 16 December 2002.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Pacific Command (PACOM) Air Defense Sectors (ADS) required an improved air sovereignty battle management system to: a) provide an enhanced CONUS, Alaskan Area of Operations (AOO) and Hawaiian AOO air picture that includes both perimeter and interior sensor and data feeds from military and civilian sources, and b) replace legacy Region Air Operations Center/Air Defense Sector (RAOC-ADS) Automated Data Processing (ADP) Systems to include the AN/FYQ-93, the AN/GSQ-235 ROCC - Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) Digital Information Link (RADIL) processor, the AN/FYQ-155, Advanced Interface Control Unit (AICU) processor, and the NORAD Contingency Suite (NCS).
This effort was intended to provide surveillance and control of NORAD's and PACOM's AOOs (including Homeland Defense, which encompasses air sovereignty and aerospace defense missions, counter drug detection and monitoring operations), warning and assessment of aerospace attack, and response against air attack. The mission requirements are on a 24 hours/day, 365-days/year basis. BCS-F will process, integrate, display, and distribute data from sensors, data links, and other C2 agencies to maintain situational awareness and support air interdiction operations. It is anticipated that the role of the BCS-F (Spiral 1) would be extended to place greater emphasis on the monitoring of domestic air traffic as a result of the terrorist attack on 11 September 2001.
The Battle Control System-Fixed program is the command and control system for air defense of the continental United States, Canada, Hawaii and Alaska. Battle Control System Fixed (BCS-F) is the cornerstone system for the NORAD and Northern Command (NORCOMMAND) Homeland Defense mission. BCS-F provides 24 hours, 7 days a week for 365 days a year Command and Control (C2) mission support within the United States and Canada to include Alaska, Hawaii, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Its five operational locations within the US and Canada are to execute surveillance, identification, data link operations, weapons control, and air battle management within their respective areas of operation. BCS-F supports other DoD and Governmental Agencies in support of various Homeland Security missions and civil relief operations. It conducts other Special Security Event missions (Super Bowl, Presidential Inaugurations, and other requirements) and is tasked with the protection of the President and Vice-President of the US. BCS-F conducts operations and provides tactical control for the National Capital Region/Integrate Air Defense mission.
The NORAD Air Defense System (Battle Control System-Fixed (Spiral 1) [BCS-F]) is being developed under the Program Management Directive (PMD) for the Battle Control System (PE 12326F). That project responds to AC2ISRC (USAF) 002-99 for Battle Control System and Theater Air and Missile Defense MNS JRCOM 065-99, the MNS - NSOR for ROCC/SOCC Computer System Upgrade dated 26 Jun 90, the CAF 307-1 C-MNS for NCS dated 28 Sep 01, and the Operational Requirements Document (ORD) Battle Control System (BCS) AC2ISRC (USAF) 002-99-I, 22 February 2002 and BCS-F Annex.
The Thales-Raytheon Sytems Company BCS-F provides an operational replacement for the RAOC-ADS system (AN/FYQ-93) including the AN/GSQ-235, ROCC - Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) Digital Information Link (RADIL), the AN/FYQ-155, Advanced Interface Control Unit (AICU), and the NORAD Contingency Suite (NCS), within current resources. Additionally, the Battle Control System - Fixed (BCS-F) replaced the Regional/Sector Air Operation Centers (R/SAOC).
The BCS-F supports air and space battle management and execution functions including data link management, surveillance, identification, and air battle execution, for North American aerospace defense. It was installed initially at the three CONUS North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Air Defense Sectors (ADS), at the NORAD Region Air Operations Center (RAOC) in Alaska, and at the Pacific Command (PACOM) RAOC in Hawaii. The Command and Control Reporting Centers (CRC) were not included under this program acquisition effort at this time; however, future spirals may allow for modernization of this BCS component. Canada was not initially involved with the BCS-F, but participated later.
The BCS-F provides NORAD and PACOM with a viable, interoperable, open architecture Command and Control (C2) and Air Defense platform in support of Homeland Defense and NORAD's mission of Air Sovereignty and Air Defense. Even prior to the attacks on 11 September 2001, NORAD's primary C2 Air Defense node was operating at capacity. With the requirement for providing decision-makers in Cheyenne Mountain Operation Center (CMOC) with a Single Integrated Air Picture (SIAP) for the entire North American continent, it became necessary to take action sooner than intended.
The BCS-F provides surveillance and control of US airspace (including counter drug detection and monitoring operations), warning and assessment of aerospace attack, and response against air attack. It monitors airborne activity in support of NORAD's and PACOM's Homeland Defense (HLD), air sovereignty, and aerospace defense missions within its Area of Operations (AOO) on a 24 hours/day, 365 days/year basis. It provides effective and integrated battle management of aerospace defense resources during peacetime, transition, attack, and post-attack periods. It processes, integrates, displays, and distributes data from sensors, data links, and other C2 agencies to maintain situational awareness and support air interdiction operations.
Use of the BCS-F was extended to place greater emphasis on the monitoring of domestic air traffic as a result of the terrorist attack of September 2001. The system is only be utilized to provide Air Defense for the periphery of the U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii, but will also provide Air Defense and Point Defense for the interior of these Regions in support of HLD. The system must be capable of selectively utilizing all available radars. With the creation of HLD, the system must also be interoperable with air, land, and maritime platforms in a link heavy environment, extending the surveillance coverage of North America and PACOM to the maximum extent possible.
By 2007 BCS-F Increments 1 and 2 were fully fielded and in sustainment. The system was in operation at 4 U.S. air defense sectors, the System Support Facility (SSF) at Tyndall Air Force Base, FL, and the Canadian Air Defense Sector (CADS) at North Bay Ontario. BCS-F Increment 2 was fielded to the Western Defense Sector (WDS) at McChord AFB WA, the Eastern Defense Sector (EDS) at Rome NY, Hawaii Region Air Operations Center (HIRAOC) at Wheeler Army Air Field, HI, and Alaska Region Air Operations Center (AKRAOC) at Elmendorf AFB AK. BCS-F Increment 2 replaced legacy Region Air Operations Center-Air Defense Sector (RAOC-ADS) Automated Data Processing (ADP) systems to include the AN/FYQ-93 and the AN/GSQ-235 ROCC - Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) Digital Information Link (RADIL) processor.
There are six BCS-F installations, including four at NORAD locations, one at PACOM, and a test site. The NORAD locations include three ADSs in the CONUS NORAD Region (CONR), and one in the Alaskan NORAD Region (ANR). The CONR is headquartered at Tyndall AFB, FL; and the ANR is headquartered at Elmendorf AFB, AK. The three CONR ADSs are the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), Rome, NY; the Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS), Tyndall AFB, FL; and the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS), McChord AFB, WA. The PACOM location will be the Hawaii RAOC (HIRAOC) at Wheeler Army Air Field, HI. The final location of the test site is Tyndall AFB, FL.
The BCS-F replaced the processing and display portion of the RAOC-ADS system (AN/FYQ-93) including the AN/GSQ-235, ROCC - Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) Digital Information Link (RADIL), the AN/FYQ-155, Advanced Interface Control Unit (AICU), and the NORAD Contingency Suite (NCS).
Each BCS-F has a specific set of radars and AOO. Each NORAD BCS-F must have the ability to expand its AOO to include the entire or partial AOOs of adjacent ADS, regardless of political boundaries, in the event of the loss of that ADS. Each NORAD BCS-F must be able to establish connectivity to all radars, data links, and other data communications channels of the adjacent ADS and must be sized for full CONUS expansion.
The BCS-F is installed in existing, secure military facilities, in close proximity to other systems (both classified and unclassified). The facilities provide commercial uninterrupted power, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. No new facility construction is envisioned. Any facility work requirements not directly related to the BCS-F installation effort will be financed and implemented under separate programs.
BCS-F Increment 3 and subsequent software upgrades were to be developed under the BCS-Mobile contract as "common" software for both BCS-F and BCS-M. BCS Increment 3 will field capabilities on a shorter development cycle in 3 software releases. Release 3.1 will field to BCS-F only and will replace the NORAD Contingency Suite (NCS). Release 3.2 brings additional capabilities for BCS-F and provides the initial capability needed to field BCS-M. Release 3.3 will provide the Increment 3 full operational capability for BCS-F. Increment 3 provides BCS-F a large scale hardware and software upgrade which enables more robust and sustainable operations, allowing the operators to see much more data than legacy systems. Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP) will require updates to adapt to the increased capabilities offered by the Increment 3 BCS-F.
In 2009 the NEADS Joint Interface Control Cell was implementing Spiral 3 updates to the Battle Control System-Fixed to include providing training with a focus on the Pocket-J data link capabilities in reference to Spiral 3. After operational testing, the updates were operationally in place for use at the Sector in April 2009. The Pocket-J's are ground stations that allow the Continental U.S. NORAD Region, or CONR, and the Air Force's two Air Defense Sectors to directly communicate over data-links to fighter, command and control, and other data link equipped aircraft. This allows pilots to get a visual representation of where a track of interest, commonly referred to as a TOI, is rather than relying solely on voice communication to locate errant aircraft. Pocket-J provides a faster and more complete air picture to the Combined Forces Air Component Commander and the pilot--better ensuring safety and accuracy for the air sovereignty mission. Prior to Pocket-J, sector controllers would use voice-only communications to provide the information to the CFACC and pilot. This took extra time and increased the potential for human error.
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list