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Booz Allen and L3Harris: Inside the TOC-L Collaboration

IM
Integrated Mission Systems
Mar 25, 2024 | 3 MINUTE Read

As Great Power competition intensifies in the strategic Indo-Pacific, the Department of Defense (DOD) needs ready-to-field options to accelerate Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2). The  strategic cooperation between Booz Allen and L3Harris Technologies is speeding development and delivery of Booz Allen’s Distributed Battle Management Node (DBMN) Tactical Operations Center-Light (TOC-L)—a proven, scalable solution to empower joint forces at the tactical edge.

TOC-L is a lightweight, scalable system modernizing command, control, and communications (C3) and battle management (BM) for faster decision making at the edge. Replacing a monolithic legacy system with a powerful, yet agile solution requires innovative mission systems integration: the ability to connect sensors to effectors, enable secure delivery of relevant information to allies and partners, and fuse and share data and intelligence via distributed tactical nodes. Working together allows the companies to make the system available to any defense organization on an urgent timeline. 

As industry leaders with a long history of supporting DOD missions, Booz Allen and L3Harris find their shared mission understanding and complementary expertise are a good fit to bring technologies to warfighters faster and at scale. “A commitment to accelerate CJADC2 capabilities for the warfighter is the essence of our joint effort,” said Khalid Syed, senior vice president driving C3/BM technologies through Booz Allen’s Digital Battlespace platform. 

The Solution: MDK’s TOC-L Configuration

Booz Allen’s TOC-L prototype is based on the firm’s Modular Detachment Kit (MDK). MDK is a fully operational multi-domain integration agent for tactical command and control (C2), providing holistic integration of disparate tactical C2 data systems. The solution was proven at Project Convergence 2022, where it successfully demonstrated joint all-domain connectivity and provided cross-domain edge C2—delivering cross-domain network integration, fires, and air pictures at the tactical edge. 

In 2023, U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) completed rapid deployment of MDK, the minimum viable product (MVP) of TOC-L, thanks to a strategic collaboration between the command, the Information Directorate of Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and Booz Allen. Today the TOC-L MVP provides crucial C2/BM capability across the more than 13 million square miles of the European Command (EUCOM) area of responsibility.

These initiatives show how government-industry collaboration can expedite technical advances. Now Booz Allen and L3Harris are showing the power of industry collaboration to accelerate first-mover capabilities.

The Collaboration: Next-Gen Mission Systems Integration 

“Our pedigree in communications, sensing, production, fusion, and lead systems integration makes this a good teaming,” said Toby Magsig, senior director of technology strategy at L3Harris. “We connect multi-domain forces across the battlefield and in our partner nations with tactical devices. That level of connectivity at the ground, plus our experience managing networks, make this a great collaboration to accelerate MDK as a uniquely qualified solution at the tactical edge.” 

As a member of the Air Force Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) digital infrastructure consortium, L3Harris is designing and developing the CJADC2 digital backbone for the U.S. Air Force. Additionally, the firm is developing the backbone of the Navy’s CJADC2 architecture and integrated fires capability. 

The Advantage: Accelerating the Attack 

“Legacy systems are designed to fuse a particular sensor with a specific weapon system to go after a particular target. That refers to the stages of an attack, what we call the kill chain,” said Booz Allen’s Syed. He explained that DOD is evolving from a kill chain—a vector—to a kill web, a mesh. 

“The hardware can correlate sensor data with any weapon system to take on any target or multiple targets at the same time. And on the software side, the system can use data from any source, government or commercial or from a partner. That’s the advantage of the MDK solution,” he said.

L3Harris’ Magsig pointed out the value of intelligent routing. “Just as your smart phone can find the right Wi-Fi or 5G LTE or even 3G in an austere environment, the fielded solution can operate in a denied, degraded, intermittent or limited environment while still finding the best pathway to keep the joint force connected.”

Both companies are excited about the speed and synergy this collaboration provides. “We’re very pleased to be able to help the government accelerate progress on CJADC2,” said Syed. “The best part is, this isn’t an idea we’re proposing for the future. This TOC-L solution is available now.”

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