Northrop has been awarded a contract by the US Air Force (USAF) for the Total System Support Responsibility (TSSR) of the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) fleet.

The TSSR programme comprises the Northrop Joint STARS logistics team and Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (ALC) partnership, which enables integrated logistics support to the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW) for all aspects of base and depot-level maintenance.

The 30-month, $540m contract implements collective practices of Northrop and ALC to provide Joint STARS support that is economical and meets the needs of war-fighters.

The USAF E-8C Joint STARS fleet is an all-weather, long-range, real-time, wide-area surveillance and battle management, and command and control weapons system.

The system provides battlefield commanders with real-time situational information while simultaneously transmitting target locations to aircraft and ground strike forces.

The Joint STARS platform’s wide-area moving target detection and synthetic aperture radar imagery combination enables the location, classification and tracking of ground targets in all weather conditions from standoff distances.

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Northrop’s material availability and proactive approach to reliability performance in systems engineering, footprint reduction and obsolescence management contributed to the product support and also reduced the Joint STARS ownership costs.

The 116th ACW comprises the Georgia Air National Guard and the active-duty Air Force Wing, totalling over 2,500 people, and completed over 72,650 combat hours in 6,750 missions.

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems is the prime contractor for the E-8C Joint STARS project and the contract covers the TSSR period 11.5 to 13, which began on 1 May 2011 and concludes on 31 October 2013.

The Boeing 707-300 series aircraft equipped with four Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3Bturbojet engines are remanufactured by Northrop Grumman, then transferred to Northrop’s Battle Management Systems Division for electronics installation and testing.

The E-8C Joint STARS programme’s T-3 testbed aircraft flew with new engines and the company is currently testing additional radar and sensor capabilities on its aircraft, and also anticipates fielding those capabilities to the whole 17-aircraft fleet over the next several years.

Image Caption: The Boeing 707-300 series aircraft is installed with the JSTAR system and is powered by four Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B turbojet engines.