Cyber Warfare Integration Network (CWIN)


There's been a change in how warfare is conducted. It's driven not by increased capabilities of individual weapon systems, but by the increased use of high-speed information management technologies to link weapon systems together in a network, making them collectively more effective than the sum of the individual parts.

The goal is to create a global, integrated battle management network where information is rapidly collected, shared, exploited and distributed among military platforms. Such a network transforms data into knowledge that warfighters, commanders and government leaders can use to make rapid, effective decisions. By helping our military achieve information superiority over the enemy, this new approach will also shorten the time from when a threat is detected to when it's resolved from hours currently to single-digit minutes. Northrop Grumman has taken the lead in helping its customers succeed on this new, network-enabled battleground by developing a virtual, real-time, geographically distributed battlefield environment called the Cyber Warfare Integration Network (CWIN).

Activated in 2002, CWIN provides an interactive, "system of systems" engineering environment. Customers can rapidly design, implement and analyze operational scenarios using a customized mix of virtual airborne and space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors; command and control elements; and simulations of precision strike platforms. It uses physics-based simulations of current platforms such as Global Hawk, E-2 early warning aircraft, B-2 stealth bomber, F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, and F/A-18 strike fighter; realistic terrain databases; and operational command and control software to create a high fidelity, realistic battlefield environment. CWIN can also include "live" operational data from currently deployed platforms such as the E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS).

CWIN is an outgrowth of modeling, simulation and analysis capabilities developed by Northrop Grumman in the early 1980s to help refine technical requirements for individual aircraft platforms. Today, the company uses CWIN both as an engineering tool to support current programs and as a training environment for its customers. Commanders, pilots, and command and control operators alike can use CWIN for exercises to help develop new concepts of military operations.

CWIN's modeling and simulation computer assets are distributed among Northrop Grumman sites in El Segundo, Calif.; Bethpage, N.Y.; Melbourne, Fla.; Rancho Bernardo Calif., and the Washington, D.C. area. All sites, or nodes, are linked through a high speed, high bandwidth wide area network. Operators at different sites routinely collaborate in real time on the same battlefield scenario, carrying out their individual missions under the watchful eye of a commander.

CWIN is also connected to other Northrop Grumman sites, U.S. defense contractor and U.S. government engineering test sites. These sites allow CWIN to participate in joint virtual war-gaming exercises involving air-, land-, sea- and space-based assets.

Each CWIN node comprises a mix of facilities and simulation capabilities but focuses on a specific military capability. The El Segundo node, for example, specializes in precision strike assets such as F-35, F/A-18 or B-2. It can also support simulations of unmanned systems such as Global Hawk and the Unmanned Combat Air System. The facility includes a Battle Management arena, a Global Strike lab with a B-2 cockpit simulator, and a Force Level lab with six tactical fighter cockpits. The Battle Management arena permits the development and exploration of current and future command, control and battle management systems by using advanced architecture approaches. It contains three wall-sized displays that present high fidelity, graphical representations of the battlefield to command-and-control operators as they carry out mission assignments in real time. Using software, the fighter cockpits in the Force Level Lab can be configured as either friendly or enemy aircraft and "flown" in real time as part of a mission. Any combination of the three simulation facilities can participate in any mission scenario.

The CWIN node in Melbourne specializes in command, control, communications and computers, and intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance systems (C4ISR). It includes a battle management center; separate rooms for scenario managers, "friendly" and "opposing" forces, and a complete functional mock-up of the "back end" of an airborne ground surveillance aircraft. This System Integration lab, also known as the Crew Area Virtual Environment (CAVE), can be tied into any CWIN scenario.

The CWIN node in Bethpage, N.Y., specializes in modeling and simulating airborne early warning and electronic warfare systems; advanced command and control architectures; naval systems integration; integrated precision targeting, and maritime patrol and reconnaissance systems. It hosts a variety of virtual and constructive simulations including the E-2/Advanced Hawkeye, EA-6B/EA-18G ICAP III, a maritime version of Global Hawk and a high fidelity Naval Systems Integration environment for development of new naval concepts of operations.