MBDA has unveiled NCES (Network-Centric Engagement Solutions), a new network-centric ground based air defense architecture based on the latest real-time data exchange protocols. The system is currently undergoing integration tests.
“In this architecture, sensor resources are networked to develop the best air traffic situation. The ground-to-air firing units, from very short range systems (VSHORAD) to medium range systems, or ground-to-air coordination and engagement centres – are also networked to obtain a more effective air defence solution. These architectures can be implemented at local level or for national territory defense. MBDA can provide all the capabilities, sensors, communication technologies, coordination centres, firing units, and can also set up a means of engagement architecture to interface with a pre-existing defence structure,” explains Franck Seuzaret, Head of Battlefield and Air Defence Systems.
Compared to conventional air defence architectures – which are very hierarchical – networking different resources delivers considerable operational flexibility and very high resilience. With NCES, the organisation of ground based air defense ceases to be constrained by the notion of a battery structured around an organic radar and C2 system. The effectors or launcher systems are acquired by the engagement network immediately on being connected. Similarly, the sensors enhance the air traffic situation as each is added to the network. If a command & control center is lost, the missile and sensor equipment attached to it are dynamically taken on board by another command & control centre via the network, with no loss of firepower.”
This makes the NCES architecture suitable for a wide diversity of organisations, from mobile batteries up to territorial defense systems. It can also easily integrate existing ground-based air defense systems, by means of a gateway converting the data normally exchanged by the battery with the ground-to-air defense tiers above or below it.