NEADS is the future Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) programme which will replace Rapier missiles and introduce networked command and control, providing protection against air attack to UK forces when deployed on operations. The programme will be introduced over a number of increments; the first of which will lay the foundations for the Command and Control (C2) architecture for all future phases.
Software components from IBM and BAE Systems are already in operation with the RAF and Royal Artillery so this combined approach is a low risk and cost effective solution for the customer. It will also significantly reduce the training burden for operators already trained and using the software.
The team brings together the RAF's in-service command, control and air picture compilation capabilities for UK air defence provided by IBM, and the Royal Artillery GBAD C2 software provided by BAE Systems. This combination of systems, which have seen significant input from the user in the design, will improve effectiveness across air defence operations.
Understanding what is happening in the airspace and the ability to coordinate activities between air users and weapon system commanders is crucial to air defence operations. Making sure these operators have the very best information at their fingertips is critical to ensuring the UK armed forces are successful and safe in operations.
Alun Fishburne, Defence Information Director says: “Our teaming with IBM for the NEADS programme will bring a step change in capability at what we believe will be very low risk. By joining together we are offering proven systems into one integrated solution”.
Phillip Jolley, Operational Information Systems Lead for Public Sector, IBM Global Business Services, UK and Ireland added "As we have demonstrated at the Farnborough Air Show, the capability to integrate and build on operationally proven solutions offers a low risk approach to what is a very important programme for future UK joint operations"
The MOD main gate for the programme is expected in September 2013.