Integrated Project Team (IPT)
The Programme uses an Integrated Project Team approach in the conduct of its work. The IPT consists of the Operational Users, BMD Programme Office staff, TeamSAIC members, Programme support personnel, NATO C&I Agency members, and many individuals from other NATO bodies.
The Programme is able to use this approach because the majority of the above personnel are all located at the NCIA facility in The Hague. Communication to the Brussels offices, to the operational users and to many company personnel resident at their home office locations is greatly facilitated by the use of modern, fully integrated virtual office environments.
The IPT mandate has been to rapidly specify the required functionality, performance, interfaces and information exchange requirements needed to make the BMD architecture function as a complete system-of-systems. The Operational Users Group's (OUG) guidance has been key to the selection of the Target Architecture and the team approach has resulted in rapid progress.
One of the key aspects of the Programme's work is the definition of target architectures that describe the evolution of the BMD capabilities, and through these architectures to develop requirements that can be attributed to NATO Battle Management, Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (BMC3I) systems. A key milestone of the programme was the delivery of the Architecture Description Document for the ALTBMD Initial Operating Capability (IOC) and subsequently the system-specific Detailed Design Documents (DDD)s that support the delivery of these capabilities through implementation projects. As the programme's strategic direction has evolved so too have the architecture and requirements definitions to account for the emerging need for interim capabilities and the expansion from ALTBMD to BMD.
Integration Test Bed (ITB)
The culmination of initial integration and tests efforts was the acceptance of the first build of the Integration Test Bed in The Hague, in 2007. It has subsequently undergone several successive builds to accomodate programme evolution. The test bed was immediately used for risk reduction efforts in support of preparatory programme participation for exercise Joint Project Optic Windmill, that took place in 2008. This effort proved the external connectivity to a national site, the ability to stimulate the ITB from a weapon system simulation from that site and the ability of the ITB to use LINK 16 air and missile tracks. This risk reduction activity involved the participation of the Programme Office, TeamSAIC, NC3A, NACMA and nations. Joint Project Optic Windmill 2010 provided a tremendous venue to advance the programme's initial capability.
Finally, in 2011 verification and validation efforts have continued, culminating in live tests during the German-led tactical firing in Crete (see NATO News - Commanders Successfully test C2 systems in live fire Joint Project Optic Windmill 2010).
Ensemble Tests (ET)
After two years of detailed testing activities with national laboratories, simulation centres and weapon systems, December 2010 saw the first of several Ensemble Tests (ET). These are carried out by the Programme Office as risk reduction activities, where the use of multiple systems from several different contributing nations are tested in simulated conditions. Tests include nation-to-nation, NATO-to-nation and NATO-to-NATO linkages from multiple locations over a variety of means. The first ET was a major milestone for the Programme. ET2 was conducted in late 2012, while ET3 will be conducted later this year.