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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

GUARDRAIL Integrated Processing Facility [IPF]

GUARDRAIL ground processing is conducted in the Integrated Processing Facility (IPF), which consists of of four 40-foot SeaLand trailers, interconnected to provide an advanced ground processing center for the Guardrail mission operations. The Surveillance Information Processing Facility (AN-TSQ-105(V)), commonly referred to as the Integrated Processing Facility (IPF), is a manned, ground based, control, data processing and message center. The AN/TSQ-176 Surveillance Integrated Processing Facility, consisting of four 8'x40' electronic shelters, is part of the Guardrail/Common Sensor System-1 (GRCS-1) AN/USD-9C integrated processing facility. The vans are in to to observe, analyze and process information relayed from the Airborne Relay Facility (ARF), AN/ARW-83(V). Interoperable Data Links (IDL) provide microwave connectivity between the airborne elements and the IPF. Reporting is accomplished via Commander's Tactical Terminals (CTT). Key features include integrated COMINT and ELINT reporting, enhanced signal classification and recognition, fast Direction Finding (DF), and precision emitter location. The GRCS Integrated Processing Facility (IPF) rapid deployment capability consists of two vans minimum versus the four of earlier configurations.

The Flightline Test Set AN/ARM-163 (V) is commonly referred to as the Auxiliary Ground Equipment (AGE) Van. The AGE van is a five ton step van that has been modified to contain automated test equipment used in the preflight checks and maintenance of the Airborne Relay Faclilty (ARF).

Information is processed and reported to joint consumers via TRIXS broadcast primarily over the Joint Tactical Terminal (JTT) which is a subsystem of the GRCS Data Distribution System (DDS). A typical mission requires the aircraft to orbit to the rear and parallel to the forward line of own troops (FLOT). The IPF sends commands to and receives information from the Airborne Relay Facility (ARF) through a secure data link. The operators in the IPF process the collected information and report the intelligence to the tactical commanders and other possible joint consumers via the JTT relay on board the aircraft.

The Precision SIGINT Targeting System (PSTS) is an ACTD under the sponsorship of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Advanced Technology. PSTS is a Joint Service and Defense Agency effort to develop and demonstrate a near-real-time, precision targeting, sensor-to-shooter capability using existing national and tactical SIGINT assets. The third PSTS demonstration, conducted in April 1996 was held in conjunction with an Army Interdiction Counter Fire Exercise (ICE 96-1) at Fort Stewart, Georgia. This demonstration featured processing of both national and tactical SIGINT data at a tactical processing facility, the GUARDRAIL Integrated Processing Facility (IPF) located at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia.

Original GUARDRAIL Integrated Processing Facility loaded onto rail cars for movement.

GUARDRAIL II Operator positions.


IMPROVED GUARDRAIL V operator positions.

COMMON/SENSOR operator workstations.


One GR/CS system is authorized per Aerial Exploitation Battalion (AEB) in the MI Brigade at each Corps. The second GRCS system was fielded to XVIII Corps in 1994 with a remote relay capability that allowed forward deployment of aircraft while the ground processing facility remains in CONUS.

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Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood

Updated Tuesday, February 22, 2000 8:13:46 PM