The U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $43 million contract to retrofit the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft, trainers and laboratories. The contract has options for an additional three years to complete retrofit of the entire fleet.
The contract replaces computers in both the operator work stations and radar signal processor, installs larger OWS displays to improve operator situational awareness and migrates the OWS operating system to a LINUX-based, open-system architecture. Upgrades to the system’s on-board network infrastructure increase its bandwidth to improve communications performance for the operator.
“This transition enables our war fighters to get the most capability out of the Joint STARS system,” said Bryan Lima, Joint STARS program director, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “The open-architecture technology insertion will enable cost-effective upgrades well into the future, allowing us to keep the platform relevant to address emerging threats, while also helping target and identify hostile movement more quickly and efficiently.”
Joint STARS is the premier airborne command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform for the Air Force’s air-to-ground battle management and surveillance operations. The platform provides long endurance, all-weather surveillance and tracking of moving and stationary targets; helping U.S. and allied forces shorten the attack and decision chain.