The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a $330m contract to Northrop Grumman to support the 16 aircraft E-8C joint surveillance target attack radar system (E-8C Joint STARS) fleet.
Under the deal, the company will provide total system support responsibility (TSSR) for the USAF’s E-8C airborne ground surveillance aircraft.
The 12-month agreement covers TSSR Period Year 19 from 1 November 2018 to 31 October 2019.
Under the Joint STARS TSSR contract, Northrop Grumman will continue and strengthen its collaboration with the USAF Life Cycle Management Center to jointly provide total systems support to the USAF’s 116th and 461st Air Control Wings.
Northrop Grumman will provide sustainment and support for the Joint STARS fleet at Robins Air Force Base and other forward operating locations worldwide.
The contract also covers activities such as programme management, engineering technical support, depot maintenance, and overall customer support.
Northrop Grumman aerospace systems military aircraft surveillance programmes vice-president Jane Bishop said: “The 24/7 support we provide to our warfighters under TSSR coupled with the rapid fielding of new capabilities is an effective way to ensure mission success.
“We completed the airforce tactical receive system-ruggedised upgrade in just 12 months and are now implementing a fifth-generation upgrade to the fleet’s central computers.
“The E-8C’s continue to serve as a low-risk pathfinder for the USAF through continued fleet capability enhancements while the airforce develops the follow-on advanced battle management system.”
The E-8C Joint STARS is an airborne battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform that provides theatre ground and air commanders with ground surveillance capabilities.
It is designed to offer precise wide-area moving target detection combined with synthetic aperture radar imagery to locate, classify and track ground targets in all weather conditions from standoff distances.
In November last year, Northrop secured an E-8C Joint STARS support contract worth $349.6m for the period from 1 November 2017 to 31 October 2018.