WASHINGTON — A prototype designed to allow the U.S. Army’s next-generation ground system to pull targeting information from military and commercial satellites joined the service’s Project Convergence demonstration going on now.
Project Convergence, led by the Army but supported by each of the military services, aims to demonstrate Joint All-Domain Command and Control — the Department of Defense’s vision for a networked, connected, data-enabled force. The exercise kicked off in October in the western U.S. and the Pacific and continues through this month.
The Army’s Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node is a key piece of JADC2 that’s being designed to connect sensors with users in the field to support beyond-line-of-sight targeting. Raytheon and Palantir are developing competing prototypes for TITAN and, in parallel, Northrop Grumman is designing a kit that will be installed on those systems to allow them to ingest data from space-based sensors.
Northrop announced Nov. 9 the first of two “pre-prototype” systems has been delivered to the service and was used as part of Project Convergence.
“The mobile, semi-autonomous, pre-prototype system leverages commercial and military space assets to facilitate deep-sensing, reduce sensor-to-shooter timelines and maximize the effectiveness of long-range precision fires,” it said in a statement. “This new capability fully integrates data from multiple assets into a single mobile system.”
The space prototype is being managed by the Army’s Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities office and the Defense Innovation Unit.
The Army plans to field two versions of TITAN, advanced and basic, with the key difference being that the advanced will have the space kit installed. The advanced version will integrate with tactical trucks, like the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicle fleet’s M1083, and the basic variant will be installed on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
The service awarded Raytheon and Palantir $36 million each in June to complete their TITAN prototypes and plans to choose one of their designs next summer. The winning contractor will produce six advanced and five basic systems.
Courtney Albon is C4ISRNET’s space and emerging technology reporter. She has covered the U.S. military since 2012, with a focus on the Air Force and Space Force. She has reported on some of the Defense Department’s most significant acquisition, budget and policy challenges.