Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS)

Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS)  


The First Name and Last Word in Assured Theater Missile Warning

JTAGS provides reliable and affordable early missile detection and warning

Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS) exterior

Over two decades ago, Northrop Grumman delivered the Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS) – a first-of-its-kind, transportable information processing system designed to receive and process in-theater, raw, infrared data from up to three Defense Support Program (DSP) sensors.

Developed and built by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Army, JTAGS' objective is simple: to receive, process and disseminate Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) sensor information on tactical ballistic missile (TBM) launches and other events of interest for warning, alerting and cueing via in-theater tactical and strategic communications networks. Use of in-theater communications networks significantly reduces the risk of relying on long haul communications for assured missile warning to deployed forces.


Key Capabilities and Contributions of JTAGS


  • Provides timely and assured warning for protection of friendly forces and population
  • Cues active theater missile defense systems for rapid missile intercept
  • Cues attack operations assets to detect and destroy enemy launch capability
  • Acts as an essential link for theater commander's situational awareness
  • Provides information on other infrared (IR) events for theater situational awareness
  • Is the sole in-theater system that provides the combatant commander with the ability to warn, protect and defend theater operations.

How JTAGS Works

Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS) dish
  • The system receives direct down-linked data from up to three OPIR sensors to include DSP sensors and a Space Based Infrared Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO) sensor, and additionally receives other networked sensor data, such as Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) sensor, in order to produce IR events within the sensors' fields of view.
  • 3-D stereo processing of multiple sensors is performed to greatly improve tactical parameters. This groundbreaking technology, first introduced by Northrop Grumman in 1994, is still used today throughout the missile warning community
  • Near real-time reporting through theater communication systems rapidly disseminates data directly to combatant commanders

Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS) Modernization Video