Extraordinary Solutions For The Warfighter

National Defense—The Threats Are Real

The Department of Defense (DoD) created the National Defense Strategy (NDS) in 2018 to provide a constructive first step in responding to multiple crises in defense of the United States. The security and wellbeing of the U.S are at greater risk than at any other time in decades. America’s military superiority—the hard-power backbone of global influence and national security—has been eroding to a dangerous degree. Rivals and adversaries are challenging the U.S. on many fronts in multiple domains. America’s ability to defend its allies, its partners, and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt. Acting promptly and decisively to remedy these circumstances will preserve the American people, our way of life, and our ability to remain free. We are providing America the solutions to make this a reality.


Changes at home and abroad are diminishing U.S. military advantages and threatening U.S. vital interests. Authoritarian competitors, especially Russia and China, are seeking regional hegemony and the means to project power globally and off-planet/celestially. They are pursuing determined military buildups aimed at neutralizing U.S. strengths. Threats have worsened as these countries have developed more advanced weapons and creatively employed asymmetric tactics. Multiple-region aggression, intimidation, and coercion are the tool of choice for our adversaries. The U.S. is in competition and conflict with an array of challenges and adversaries. This situation has created a crisis of national security for the US—and some have declared it an emergency. Parsons, in its continued support to the warfighter, has focused on readiness since our beginning—and continues to do so today.


The readiness of U.S. forces to conduct operations as effectively and safely as possible is a crucial component of America’s national security. Readiness of U.S. forces has suffered in recent years, primarily due to extended operations in the Middle East, as well as severe budgetary uncertainty and austerity. DoD efforts to remain prepared have been exemplary, but this requires resources to train to a high level of proficiency across a broader and more technologically challenging range of potential missions than in the recent past. Our team supports the preparations to keep our highly qualified warfighter personnel poised to act across multiple domains.

Threat Assessments

Multiple analyses of adversary threats have been produced and considered, and we realize the speed and agility of the adversary are formidable. For many years, focus on the Middle East and terrorist groups forced our competitive advantage to atrophy technologically while we maintained readiness in our dedicated military personnel. The recently released Defense Space Strategy directly states that the DoD will advance space power to enable the U.S. to regain, compete, deter, and win in a complex security environment characterized by great power competition. Threats, challenges, and opportunities in the current (and future) environment are a focus for all space warfighters. China and Russia have weaponized space and turned it into a warfighting domain. They present the greatest strategic threat due to their development, testing, and deployment of counterspace capabilities and their associated military doctrine. Employment of these systems in a conflict that can and will extend to space is expected.

The rapid expansion of allied, partner, and commercial activities in the space operating environment has provided unprecedented opportunities for collaboration and concurrently drawn in additional facets of domain challenges not seen before. The U.S. Defense Space Enterprise was neither designed nor built for the current strategic environment. The intentions and advancements of potential adversaries in space threaten the ability of the U.S. to deter aggression, protect U.S. national interests, and to fight and win future conflicts. This concern can be mitigated by advancing space power over the next 10 years to enhance and maintain space superiority, provide space support to National, Joint, and Combined Operations, and ensure space stability. We are standing shoulder to shoulder with our
warfighters to accomplish these objectives and more.

The Space Warfighting Domain—Awareness And Missile Warning

Space Domain Awareness (SDA) is fundamental to conducting space operations. SDA is the requisite foundational, current, and predictive knowledge and characterization of space objects and the operational environment upon which space operations depend. This preparation includes physical, virtual, informational, and human dimensions as well as factors, activities, and events of all entities conducting, or preparing to conduct, space operations. Space surveillance assets include a mix of space-based and earth-based sensors. SDA is dependent on integrating space surveillance, collection, and processing; environmental monitoring; status of U.S. and cooperative satellite systems; understanding of U.S. and multinational space readiness; and analysis of the space domain. SDA must incorporate an understanding of the space capabilities and intent of those that pose a threat to our space operations and space capabilities. Given the threat to operations in the Space Warfighting Domain, we have been leaning forward in support of the warfighter, providing mission expertise developed and refined over 20-plus years. We have led the development and delivery of the Integrated Solutions for Situational Awareness (ISSA) suite of applications to the warfighter for over a decade. As the space
domain continues to become increasingly congested and contested, our level of understanding in the mission area is significant. Our expertise in providing space domain solutions is unique, including the development and maintenance of the astrodynamic standards software library managed by U.S. Space Force (USSF) Headquarters. Adding to the integration of space domain awareness and missile defense mitigation, our developers have been the sole partner in developing mission tools to provide real-time missile warning and correlation systems on track to be programs of record for both the USSF as well as U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM).

Our developers have been the sole partner in developing mission tools to provide real-time missile warning and correlation systems on track to be programs of record for both the USSF as well as US Space Command (USSPACECOM). Our team is a leading source for new missile warning and space threat correlation software systems exceeding the present programs today. Our engineers worked with the original developers to integrate multiple generations of existing software and archived data into a unified platform and ensured full compliance with the government software architecture. This expertise is unique to our team and is well-recognized in the SDA and Missile Warning community. We also delivered one of the first Space Domain/Situational Awareness Assessment Tools to U.S. Coalition Partners and is on track to deliver web-based solutions as well.

The establishment of the USSF has driven a renewed energy in providing coalition partners the capability for space assessments and protection methods that are fully synchronized with U.S. capabilities. Our software was the first Domain Awareness solution delivered to the Combined Space
Operations Center baseline for use by coalition partners and U.S. Forces alike. Our internal focus on research and development, software lab development, and expansion set our team apart from other providers to the U.S. Space Force— we go above and beyond every day to maximize warfighter support.

Parsons And Missile Defense—Extraordinary Security

We have been supporting missile defense programs for the past 45 years going back to the Safeguard system of 1975, through President Reagan’s SDIO program of the 1980s, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), and today’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA). We provide Systems Engineering and integration (SE&I) support across the entire layered architecture comprised of networked sensors; multiple ground and sea-based interceptor systems; and a command and control, battle management, and communication network to counter the rapidly evolving and increasingly complex missile threat to quickly deliver missile defense capabilities to the warfighters.

We support the entire system engineering process from technology/ concept/architecture definition and design; development oversight, test and verification; and system assessment to warfighter delivery and operational support.

Our highly trained specialty engineers, physicists, mathematicians, systems engineers, test engineers, and analysts are involved across the entire systems engineering “V.” Our staff supplies the critical missile defense expertise in each of the aerospace engineering, electrical engineering, RF engineering, software engineering, test planning, and execution, systems
engineering, and cyber engineering disciplines to the U.S. and our allies.

We support the development of integrated architecture roadmaps to describe future capabilities by planning and conducting trade studies; and evaluating alternatives, future concepts, and advanced technology development. We assist with program and technical efforts for advanced research of future capabilities and emerging technology knowledge advancement in multiple technical areas, including radar systems, Electro-Optic (EO)/Infrared (IR) active/passive sensors systems, directed energy weapon and fiber lasers, simulation tools, rocket motors, and propellants, computer science signal and data processing, mathematics probability and decision theory, physics, chemistry and materials, mechanical and aerospace engineering, battle management/command and control.

We support the continual discovery of new, advanced technologies to ensure U.S. advantage in the high-stakes missile defense of the homeland, and our forces and allies around the globe. Our engineers analyze and deconstruct future missile defense system requirements tracing these component capabilities onto U.S. Government investment strategy roadmaps.

Our engineers are at the heart of research and development in reducing the size, weight, and power of components that will transition into future weapon systems. Ensuring these technologies will support future hypersonic interceptors, next-generation ballistic missile interceptors, or the space-based sensors requires innovative approaches to create relevant environments for demonstration. Our people aid in the rigorous review of laboratories, manufacturing processes, techniques, and test procedures with an eye to future producibility, quality, and robust outcomes that ensure the maximum effectiveness of these components in applications
that experience zero-g and high-g environments, the vacuum of space, and natural and man-made radiation hazards.

Our engineers support the development of advanced additive manufacturing of components that improve the thermal characteristics of high thrust nozzles, and new production techniques for micro-scale thrusters with applications on satellites and interceptors. Our engineers are developing approaches to demonstrate these capabilities on sounding rockets, going well beyond simple lab experiments, and requiring substantial system integration and engineering to ensure successful execution.

Getting out of the lab and into test ranges and national test facilities requires additional coordination, documentation, security, releasability, and International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) compliance. Our professionals are on hand at these tests and demonstrations to observe, record and recommend experiment changes that seek the edge of component performance.

There are wide-ranging areas of new science and technologies being demonstrated which depend on the engineering acumen of our team. Some examples of R&D underway include seeker technologies and associated sensors and processors; eco-friendly propellants and thrusters; new batteries with improved discharge rates and decreased space, weight, and
power (SWaP), microthrusters, Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) and gyroscopes; and so on. Emphasis on radiation hardening, survivability, and robustness to the operational conditions of weapons and sensors challenge our engineers to find technology ready to transition.

Pushing the envelope of missile defense technology requires more complex techniques or testbeds that increase flexibility while reducing cost per demonstration or permitting greater repeatability. Our engineers are at the hub of space technology testbeds. Our contributions have created a
more comprehensive understanding of space operations and experimentation resulting in an end-to-end capability to demonstrate new, low SWaP components in space. This exciting research and development approach requires extensive coordination and systems engineering rigor and agility on a minimal budget.

Our engineers are leading the development of ground stations, coordination of launch services, and nanosatellite testbeds to develop new software-defined radio components to demonstrate high-assurance internet protocol encryptors, mesh networking, and optical intersatellite links in the harsh environment of space.

As the missile threat continues to evolve, we are engaged in the threat space characterization, architecture development and balancing, technology prioritization, and strategy to field a robust defensive system. The design of such a system requires interaction across DoD and with the warfighter to ensure existing assets are being brought to bear and critical pieces of the
architecture, such as space assets and communications, are based upon mission needs to drive their systems’ engineering and design activities.

We participate in system and subsystem engineering technical reviews and assists with requirements development through the various corporate board processes. We support the development of the incremental system design documents, system specifications and system interface control documents. We have expertise in executing System Requirements Reviews
(SRRs), Preliminary Design Reviews (PDRs), and Critical Design Reviews (CDR)s, and acquisition activities leading to production.

We support advances in manufacturing technologies for composites and adaptive manufacturing techniques a technical member on the Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel (JDMTP), Space Industrial Base Working Group (SIBWG), Joint Army Navy NASA Air Force (JANNAF) Programmatic and Industrial Base, and Critical Energetics Materials Working Group (CEMWG).

We assist with the acquisition, development, and execution of high-fidelity element- and system-level models and simulations for development and operations. This activity encompassesM&S strategic planning; development and operations; capability assessment; and requirements engineering; as well as element-level M&S capability analysis, planning, execution, and operations. It includes establishing, maintaining, and refining M&S data elements and parameters to validate the M&S domain; driving test and analysis activities to collect data to anchor M&S to actual test results; and delivering integrated assessments of M&S concept analysis, performance, integration, tests, wargames and exercises, and user training.

We have been providing test and evaluation (T&E) support to the missile defense community since 2001. We assist with planning, developing objectives and requirements, and execution for integration, test, and verification functions and activities to verify functional requirements are met at the system and subsystem levels. We support specialized associated operations that are conducted in conjunction with developmental and
operational test events.

We establish a trace from each system-level requirement to one or more element requirements and system-level verification data obtained through test events. We develop technical assessments to evaluate and demonstrate the performance capabilities of the delivered configuration as it evolves, along with the associated capabilities and limitations. These technical assessments also evaluate the operational integrity and confirm system safety in different configurations.

We understand data flows and coordination across multiple areas of responsibility. We currently work with the warfighting community to develop warfighter strategic integration and policy development; operations and strategic integration support; 24/7 operations/situational awareness; and program and system-level warfighter execution. We keep the Functional/Geographic Combatant Commands (CCMDs), Service Component Commands, and the Joint Functional Component Commands
(JFCCs) fully engaged in acquisition processes–define, develop, test, and field.

Our Solutioning: Looking At The Threat Tonight And Tomorrow

We provide technical engineering support for Command, Control, Communications, and Battle Management (C3BM) systems, to include multi-domain integration for air, land, sea, and space systems. These integrated systems provide early warning of missile attacks, tracking missiles during all phases of their flight, assessing the threat posed to the U.S., its deployed
forces and other friendly forces and assets, and finally by engaging and destroying threat warheads before they reach their targets. Our professional team provides detailed spiral and product engineering support to assist in managing the capabilities that see, assess, and react to the missile threats.

In support of high-level systems of systems (SoS) phased system requirements implementation, we define subsystem-level requirements and capabilities to support the overall assessment of product performance through lab testing, live-fire testing, and deployed/operational testing. Our team also assesses the DoD Cyber Security certification and authorization process and evaluates the cybersecurity requirements, risks, controls, and artifacts for missile-related command and control systems. C3BM requirements are derived from reporting components as well as the needs and constraints of the warfighter operating the command and control system. We collaborate with sensor-weapon engineering teams to define coordinated design implementations for the integrated system-level capabilities defined in the system specification. We provide technical oversight of the algorithm development process in which advanced technologies are evaluated from concept through deployment. We provide assessment and analysis of candidate technologies as they progress through seven Algorithm Readiness Levels (ARLs) of concept, design, prototyping,
maturation, and eventual implementation into the fielded C3BM system. We produce DoD architecture framework documents such as interface control specifications and interface design documents supporting command/control behavior diagrams to include system views and operational views. We provide engineering oversight to define interface and connectivity requirements between SoS components. Our team generates communication network designs that connect subsystem components, including terrestrial and SATCOM systems, to all tactical Combatant Commands. At the tactical level, we work with multiple agencies and warfighter commands to integrate with DoD teleport and Standard Tactical Entry Point (STEP) sites to reach remotely deployed warfighters.

We provide planning, assessments, execution support, and analysis of the test assessment plans outlining the developmental testing process for spiral development products. Our team provided integral day-to-day combatant command level operational assessments of the deployed architectures and test event data analysis and assessments supporting the verification, validation, and assessments (VV&A) of the systems. Our team maintains databased information to provide continued training feedback and operational issue/resolutions to provide critical feedback to the ‘spiral-next’ development program ensuring that the C3BM systems continue to support the defense against the ever-changing threats.

We support the multi-domain warfighters with operational and analytic experience to assess the factors impacting potential periods of interest and predict these timelines to ensure the missile defense assets are activated on a timeline to support data collection of test events and defense when needed. Combining the analytic capabilities with the operational experiences, our wargames the potential outcomes allowing missile defense warfighters to place assets and develop CONOPS to maximize impact.

We support the entire lifecycle design and assessment of the expansive missile defense communication network. We evaluate communication path performance and accreditation and provided unsurpassed technical assistance to deployment activities supporting fielding/ sustainment and critical operational test events executed around the world. We continued our efficient performance by fielding secure communications upgrades to U.S. Air Force assets and incorporating inflight interceptor communications
into warfighter operational integration and execution.

We apply decades of C3BM deployment/sustainment experience with military expertise to respond to warfighter requests. We were a key developer of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, GMD Communications Network (GCN), and GMD flight/ground test events during its successful deployment.

We are very much involved with these and other cutting-edge efforts. We are involved in every step of the way in the offense and defensive posture when it comes to the emerging Hypersonic threat: from prevention, detection, anticipation, warning, defense, recovery, and response—we stand ready to support. Today, we are leveraging our Command and Control capabilities as well as our expertise to expand and grow against this emerging threat landscape. We are dedicated to solutioning—and will continue to innovate in this arena—our warfighters are counting on us!

Challenges In Domain Awareness And Protection—We Are “Going Boldly” Into The Future

Our solutioning is providing an innovative path forward for the U.S. and its allies. The support we present is unique in that it contributes insights incorporating current technology, intelligence, academic, and commercial views. The edge this creates is both creative and required: the enemy is moving faster every day to defeat and eliminate the freedoms we value. The insights and expertise we provide allow for advanced planning, execution, and assessment analysis by the warfighter. The advantage created allows immediate combat operations if needed, while also allowing margin to encourage the brilliant, dedicated Parsons team members to serve by creating innovative products and capabilities that look “beyond the next launch.” We are is best-in-class and continues to stand watch and serve the multi-domain warfighter. Our history and proven track record of rapid approval, deployment, and support for national and coalition capabilities are foundational—and we are accelerating every day to provide seamless solutioning support for the warfighter in the dynamic air, space, cyber, and other emerging domains.

About the author

John “J.R.” Riordan is a Senior Vice President of Business Development for our Space and Geospatial Solutions market. J.R.’s previous experience includes the Senate Armed Services Committee where he led the Congressional establishment of the United States Space Force. A proven military strategist, policy expert, and business executive whose knowledge of the defense and political environments advances our growth in the federal market. He currently leads the account management, business development, and customer engagement of the company’s space portfolio for the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community.

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