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E-8 recapitalization in danger

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posted on Sep, 12 2017 @ 01:59 PM
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Despite having performed five studies that all agreed that the E-8 recapitalization program was the way to go forward with battle management, the Air Force is "examining their options" and there is the very real fear that they will cancel the program outright in the FY19 budget. To date, the Air Force has spent something on the order of $256M.

An amendment to the FY18 defense budget would prevent them from canceling the program, or using the FY18 budget to retire existing airframes. The Air Force has said they may cancel the current program and look at their options for going forward "in a different way".

www.defensenews.com...




posted on Sep, 12 2017 @ 03:13 PM
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ah the fighter mafia strikes again



posted on Sep, 12 2017 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I like your OP's, they're like homework assignments and I always learn something new!
So, like, what's an E-8?
Found out here:en.wikipedia.org...


The Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) is a United States Air Force Airborne ground surveillance, battle management and command and control aircraft. It tracks ground vehicles and some aircraft, collects imagery, and relays tactical pictures to ground and air theater commanders


From that I learned:


The E-8C is an aircraft modified from the Boeing 707-300 series commercial airliner. The E-8 carries specialized radar, communications, operations and control subsystems. The most prominent external feature is the 40 ft (12 m) canoe-shaped radome under the forward fuselage that houses the 24 ft (7.3 m) side-looking APY-7 passive electronically scanned array antenna. The E-8C can respond quickly and effectively to support worldwide military contingency operations. It is a jam-resistant system capable of operating while experiencing heavy electronic countermeasures. The E-8C can fly a mission profile for 9 hours without refueling. Its range and on-station time can be substantially increased through in-flight refueling.


Looking at the pictures I immediately recognized the engine nacelle of the Pratt & Whitney JT8-D219 from the Boeing 707 Airliner. But thankfully, they upgraded the engine in 2005 so the planes would have more "hang" time. Those original engines were gas hogs.

Further into the article was the meat of the current kerfuffle:


Air Force procurement documents call for a replacement for the Boeing 707-based E-8C as a "business jet class" airframe that is "significantly smaller and more efficient."[7] Current pre-decisional requirements are for an aircraft with a 10-13 person crew with a 3.96–6.1 m (13.0–20.0 ft) radar array. Though smaller than the crew and radar size of the E-8C, it could be challenging to meet those demands in a typical business jet and could require a relatively large platform. The staffing and sensor requirements are comparable to the cancelled Northrop Grumman E-10 MC2A, which was originally planned as the E-8's replacement. The Air Force plans to award a contract at the end of FY 2016, a relatively quick pace partly to avoid budget redistributions to other programs. Replacing the E-8C avoids nearly $11 billion in operations and sustainment costs needed to keep the fleet relevant and airworthy.[8] The aircraft is to fly at 38,000 ft for eight hours.


So.....it sounds like you have to spend money to save money.

Interesting business. They've spent $256 Million to get.......nowhere? Or is the M for thousands? God, I hope its thousands!



posted on Sep, 12 2017 @ 07:08 PM
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a reply to: TonyS

Most of the money has gone into the new radar. The plan is to develop the radar, and to test as many bugs out of it before it ever gets installed on the aircraft. Both Raytheon and Northrop are developing a radar, and the bidding teams can choose between them.



posted on Sep, 12 2017 @ 07:34 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: TonyS

Most of the money has gone into the new radar. The plan is to develop the radar, and to test as many bugs out of it before it ever gets installed on the aircraft. Both Raytheon and Northrop are developing a radar, and the bidding teams can choose between them.


Do we have tail numbers on the test beds, or has it not got that far?

www.thenorthspin.com...



posted on Sep, 12 2017 @ 07:36 PM
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a reply to: gariac

It hasn't gotten that far yet. They should be fitting it by spring of next year, if not earlier. They might be using a pair of Marine Gulfstream aircraft. There have been two parked by the Raytheon hangar for a couple months now.
edit on 9/12/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 18 2017 @ 06:37 PM
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Another read on the story.
edit on 9/18/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2017 @ 07:09 AM
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Are they waiting to get up to speed on other assets abilities?



posted on Sep, 26 2017 @ 01:54 PM
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Six aircraft in the Depot, corrosion and issues around the modification sites....

No reason to replace them now when we can wait until they're barely flyable to rush something into service.

www.defensenews.com... ssues/



posted on Sep, 26 2017 @ 03:55 PM
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AWST article on this mentioned they wanted a more 'Survivable" platform. My initial response was WTF. The only platform that would fit this would be adding it to a BUFF of if they can figure out the electrical generation issues a B-1. Otherwise NO commercial solution would be "Survivable" in a remotely contested environment.

I really think we need to reassess the USAF's role when it comes to ground support. They clearly don't want the role and they should relinquish that to the US Army IMHO



posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 10:32 PM
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Congress authorized the recap for $400+ million. Whether it survives to the end of the budget grind or not, idk.

www.flightglobal.com...



posted on Nov, 9 2017 @ 01:47 AM
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originally posted by: anzha
Congress authorized the recap for $400+ million. Whether it survives to the end of the budget grind or not, idk.

www.flightglobal.com...


70 more F-35s...I guess the pilot shortage is over.



posted on Nov, 9 2017 @ 03:27 AM
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a reply to: gariac

Not even close. But if they want the price to keep dropping on schedule they need to keep buying them in those numbers.



posted on Nov, 9 2017 @ 10:18 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: gariac

Not even close. But if they want the price to keep dropping on schedule they need to keep buying them in those numbers.


Yeah, I forgot the /s to indicate sarcasm.

But buying hardware does make it hard to fund software (as in pilot training) on a limited budget.



posted on Nov, 9 2017 @ 10:30 AM
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a reply to: gariac

Waiting to replace aircraft until they are about to fall out of the sky due to maintenance and age makes it hard to do anything on a limited budget.
edit on 11/9/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 9 2017 @ 02:27 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

This is when you scale things back.
en.m.wikipedia.org...

More isn't more. The right mix is more.

When has the Pentagon been audited? Uh, never.
www.google.com...

There is at least two trillion unaccounted. I will be shocked if Trump pulls off an audit. But high fives if he does. Then the next step is you hire something like McKinsey.

www.mckinsey.com...

The US spends more on defense than the next ten countries combined. We need to trim the DoD, but have what remains be optimal.

The trouble is the large defense contractors make sure there are enough subcontracts to that every program has some piece manufactured in every CONUS state.



posted on Nov, 9 2017 @ 05:15 PM
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The plot thickens: Dump the program on South Korea

english.donga.com...

theaviationist.com...



posted on Nov, 9 2017 @ 07:03 PM
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a reply to: FredT

The other half and I were just talking about that. That's going to be the best indicationof what their plans for the future are.



posted on Nov, 9 2017 @ 08:39 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: FredT

The other half and I were just talking about that. That's going to be the best indicationof what their plans for the future are.


I'm not surprised. The JSTARS is kind of tailor made for Korea.



posted on Nov, 9 2017 @ 08:45 PM
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a reply to: FredT

It is. But if we sell them any that's going to tell us that the recapitalization is probably going forward. As it stands right now they want to keep at least some of the E-8s until almost 2030. They can't afford to lose airframes unless they're going to replace them.



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