July 2004 
Volume 03, Issue 3 
Integrated Defense Systems


E-10A to be a key node in the integrated battle space


The Boeing 767-based E-10A Multi-Sensor Command and Control AircraftHistory abounds with examples of commanders who won or lost battles depending on the kind of information they obtained about enemy intentions. The pursuit of information superiority on the battlefield is ancient, but the way that information is obtained and exchanged across the U.S. Armed Forces today is changing with the force of a tidal wave-particularly in Command and Control (C2).

The drive today is to speed up the information flow across the battle space and slash the time needed to receive data about a threat, analyze it and then send it to warfighters to deal with. Quick strategic decisions result in battles won and lives saved.

Command and Control, defined generically in terms of national defense, is the exercise of authority and direction by designated commander(s) over assigned forces in the accomplishment of a mission. Command is the authority vested in an individual for the direction, coordination and control of military forces. Control is the means by which command is exercised.

The C2 market consists of national systems that provide the highest level of military Command and Control, and tactical technologies and systems that support the command and control of tactical military forces. Command and Control applications include aircraft, shipboard, fixed land, mobile and satellite systems.

A key player in the next generation of Command and Control will be the U.S. Air Force E-10A Multi-Sensor Command and Control Aircraft. The E-10A will provide advanced ground surveillance and cruise missile defense with a robust battle management capability.

Initially, it will be equipped with an advanced ground surveillance radar, high-processing-capacity computers and robust battle management communications capability. Information from various sources then will be fused and translated at the speed of light into a single, integrated, real-time picture of the ground battlefield.

"The E-10A, with its robust Battle Management Command and Control system, fuses information from a variety of sources into a single integrated picture that lets commanders make accurate, knowledge-based decisions; and war fighters, in turn, act decisively, rapidly and strategically," said George Muellner, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems senior vice president and general manager of Air Force Systems.

Initially, the E-10A is intended to replace the E-8C Joint Stars aircraft to provide improved tracking of moving ground targets. Additionally, it will be designed to detect low-flying cruise missiles. Later derivatives of the E-10A could replace the Boeing E-3 AWACS airborne surveillance aircraft (E-10B) and RC-135 Rivet Joint signals intelligence aircraft (E-10C).

The E-10A program has three physical components:

. The Boeing 767-400ER airplane, manufactured by Boeing at its commercial aircraft production facility in Everett, Wash. The first 767-400ER airplane destined to be an E-10A is scheduled for delivery to Lake Charles, La., for military modifications in July 2006.

. The Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program sensor being developed by Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.

. The Battle Management Command and Control (BMC2) subsystem-the operational brain of the aircraft. This is anything behind the E-10A's flight deck door except the radar. The BMC2 subsystem will automate sensor data processing tasks currently performed by human operators to present a predictive battle-space awareness picture to the airborne commander. The knowledge to make decisions in near-real time will enable the U.S. Air Force to significantly shorten the "sensor-to-shooter" decision cycle. Boeing IDS is currently competing to win the development of the BMC2 system for the E-10A. The U.S. Air Force will select one of three competitors (Boeing, Lockheed Martin or Northrop Grumman) late this summer.

"The BMC2 program is critical to the Department of Defense vision of an integrated battle space," said Jake Volkert, Boeing IDS vice president, BMC3 & Strategic Systems.

Current plans have the E-10A operational in 2013. Depending on funding and Air Force requirements, the E-10 fleet could number more than 50 aircraft.



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