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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy visited Northrop Grumman Wednesday, thanking employees who have been working through COVID-19 on a high-priority project for the Army.

“We need this weapon system in order to maintain a technological advantage in the future. It’s not a question of we might get there. We have to get there,” said Secretary McCarthy to the IBCS team.

Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) has been in the works for several years and this July will have a final test of sorts by the Army. If all goes well, the system will move to production//deployment stage.

So what is IBCS? Think of it as a master integration system that will bring a bunch of elements together to better protect soldiers across the globe.

“Most of our systems (as a country) kind of act by themselves,” said Bob McCaleb, Northrop Grumman’s corporate executive in Huntsville. “This (IBCS) links together sensors and shooters that don’t talk to each other today. By linking together it expands the capability of the warfighter,” said McCaleb.

It’s the kind of project and deadline that isn’t very flexible in the face of a global pandemic. Secretary McCarthy praised Northrup Grumman for staying on course while keeping their employees safe.

“What we realized was, what you all do every day is no different than what these folks in uniform are doing,” said Secretary McCarthy of the risks civilian/reserve defense employees are undertaking.

There’s a long list of history-making innovations that were developed in Huntsville. Should IBCS get the green light, Northrop Grumman believes this system will be the cornerstone of the Army’s IAMD modernization strategy.

“You can get in on a development of something transformational and then actually deliver it. You are delivering something to help the nation defend itself,” said McCaleb on the opportunities that exist in Huntsville.

Click here to read more about recent testing of IBCS.