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JSTARS replacement shaping up to be summer blockbuster

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posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 06:48 PM
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The battle to replace the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) is shaping up to be the next summer blockbuster contract battle. Northrop Grumman has a Gulfstream GV they've been testing as a "G550 representative" platform for several years. Boeing will offer a 737-BBJ1, which will be a 737-700 fuselage, with a 737-800 wing. Lockheed will offer a Bombardier Global Express platform.

Raytheon is currently developing a radar offering for all competitors, called "Skynet". It's believed to be a 16 foot derivative of the Advanced Airborne Sensor mounted on the P-8 Poseidon. Lockheed describes the radar as a “state-of-the-art active electronically scanned array (AESA), long-range, ground-surveillance radar”.

Two aircraft are to be acquired in 2017 as part of the development contract. Three production aircraft will be acquired for IOC in 2023. The first E-8C will be retired in 2019.


An effort to recapitalise the Northrop Grumman E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) with a modern business jet is shaping up to be this summer’s blockbuster defence programme, with three solid industry teams now vying for the $6.5 billion prize and Raytheon working on a curious new airborne radar called “Skynet”.

Northrop (the incumbent prime contractor), Lockheed Martin and Boeing have competing JSTARS proposals and are in a “blackout period” with no communication with the US Air Force as it decides whether to put two or all three teams on contract for an 11-month “pre-development” risk-reduction programme. The decision is expected in late August or early September, the air force says, and the main downselect to a single design will occur in late 2017.

JSTARS Recap, as the programme is known, officially started this year and aims replace the air force’s 16 large and expensive 707-300-based E-8C ground-looking battle management, surveillance and moving target indicator aircraft with 17 militarised business-class aircraft by 2026.

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 09:21 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
The battle to replace the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) is shaping up to be the next summer blockbuster contract battle. Northrop Grumman has a Gulfstream GV they've been testing as a "G550 representative" platform for several years. Boeing will offer a 737-BBJ1, which will be a 737-700 fuselage, with a 737-800 wing. Lockheed will offer a Bombardier Global Express platform.

Raytheon is currently developing a radar offering for all competitors, called "Skynet". It's believed to be a 16 foot derivative of the Advanced Airborne Sensor mounted on the P-8 Poseidon. Lockheed describes the radar as a “state-of-the-art active electronically scanned array (AESA), long-range, ground-surveillance radar”.

Two aircraft are to be acquired in 2017 as part of the development contract. Three production aircraft will be acquired for IOC in 2023. The first E-8C will be retired in 2019.


An effort to recapitalise the Northrop Grumman E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) with a modern business jet is shaping up to be this summer’s blockbuster defence programme, with three solid industry teams now vying for the $6.5 billion prize and Raytheon working on a curious new airborne radar called “Skynet”.

Northrop (the incumbent prime contractor), Lockheed Martin and Boeing have competing JSTARS proposals and are in a “blackout period” with no communication with the US Air Force as it decides whether to put two or all three teams on contract for an 11-month “pre-development” risk-reduction programme. The decision is expected in late August or early September, the air force says, and the main downselect to a single design will occur in late 2017.

JSTARS Recap, as the programme is known, officially started this year and aims replace the air force’s 16 large and expensive 707-300-based E-8C ground-looking battle management, surveillance and moving target indicator aircraft with 17 militarised business-class aircraft by 2026.

www.flightglobal.com...


What size aircraft are the replacements proposed to be? G series size?



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 09:25 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant

Northrop will be a G550, Lockheed a Global Express, Boeing a modified 737-700. There isn't an official size requirement yet, but it has been hinted that it will be much smaller than the current E-8s are.



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 09:28 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: In4ormant

Northrop will be a G550, Lockheed a Global Express, Boeing a modified 737-700. There isn't an official size requirement yet, but it has been hinted that it will be much smaller than the current E-8s are.


Have they indicated if these types of aircraft will be outfitted with any stealth capability? It seems it would be an important factor considering the roles.



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 09:29 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I think the E-8's are a beautiful bird



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 09:35 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant

No. With the new radars, they can stand off far enough that they can have a blocking force between them and any threats. The things they're doing with radar and miniaturization are amazing now.



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 09:38 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: In4ormant

No. With the new radars, they can stand off far enough that they can have a blocking force between them and any threats. The things they're doing with radar and miniaturization are amazing now.


Didn't realize they had that type of buffer with the radar range. What is the effective range currently?



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 09:43 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant

Classified. The newer airborne radars are pretty long range though.



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 09:49 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: In4ormant

Classified. The newer airborne radars are pretty long range though.


I'm hitting you with a bunch of questions, sorry. Ever since I was a kid and fell in love with the Tomcat and the Warthog I have been a plane nut. I've probably read all this before, just don't remember.



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 10:00 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant

No worries. I enjoy answering them. Aviation is my passion.



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 10:06 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: In4ormant

No worries. I enjoy answering them. Aviation is my passion.


With the range of tactical fighters having not increased that much for other nations in the near past is it safe to assume this is more of an effort to combat stealth technology being developed/utilized by other nations? If so, why not just retro the current platform?



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 10:10 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant

No. JSTARS is a Ground Moving Target Indicator radar. That means it only tracks objects on the ground, such as trucks, or cars. It's not capable of detecting airborne targets of any type.

The current E-8 is getting expensive, and harder to maintain. Eventually they're going to run out of TF33 engines, and parts. The only current operators of them anymore are the E-8C, the E-3, and the B-52, as well as a handful of other types here and there. Once they run out of engines in the Boneyard, there are no more. It's not made anywhere anymore, so getting replacement parts for the engine is getting harder and harder. And replacing the engine isn't just a matter of putting a new type on the wing, as seen with the B-52 engine replacement program failures.



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 10:14 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: In4ormant

No. JSTARS is a Ground Moving Target Indicator radar. That means it only tracks objects on the ground, such as trucks, or cars. It's not capable of detecting airborne targets of any type.

The current E-8 is getting expensive, and harder to maintain. Eventually they're going to run out of TF33 engines, and parts. The only current operators of them anymore are the E-8C, the E-3, and the B-52, as well as a handful of other types here and there. Once they run out of engines in the Boneyard, there are no more. It's not made anywhere anymore, so getting replacement parts for the engine is getting harder and harder. And replacing the engine isn't just a matter of putting a new type on the wing, as seen with the B-52 engine replacement program failures.


Ahh OK. I was thinking of AWACS apparently. They are looking at replacing that too aren't they?



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 10:20 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant

They just started a huge upgrade on them. The E-3G, Block 40/45 reached IOC last summer. It's the biggest upgrade done on US E-3s. The G upgrade will give them a modern computer system, as well as open architecture for future upgrades, and improved displays. It advanced their computer systems by 30 years.



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 10:22 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: In4ormant

They just started a huge upgrade on them. The E-3G, Block 40/45 reached IOC last summer. It's the biggest upgrade done on US E-3s. The G upgrade will give them a modern computer system, as well as open architecture for future upgrades, and improved displays. It advanced their computer systems by 30 years.



I appreciate your knowledge mate.



posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 10:32 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant

Now the E-2D, for the Navy is going in an interesting direction. The E-3 uses the AN/APY-1 and AN/APY-2 radars. The E-2D on the other hand, has gone from the AN/APS-138/139 or AN/APS-145 (the -138 was used since 1984, the 139 from 1991, and the 145 on the E-2C+), to the AN/APY-9. The AN/APY-9 is a UHF band radar, that uses both mechanical and electronic scanning out to over 345 miles. Both the E-2 and E-3 have passive detection capabilities through their radars. UHF is one of the bands that is supposed to detect stealth better than normal radars.
edit on 7/24/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2015 @ 03:12 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Hi Zaph,

Why is it classified?

Kind regards,

Bally



posted on Jul, 25 2015 @ 04:14 AM
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A cutting edge, military radar surveillance system and they called it 'Skynet'. Sounds ominous. Tempting fate perhaps?



posted on Jul, 25 2015 @ 07:26 AM
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a reply to: bally001

Because any sort of performance data gives a lot of information to people who may not be friendly and could help them figure out a way to defeat it.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 02:09 PM
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Why do I have the feeling the radar developed for this project might also make it onto another uh platform?



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