Northrop Grumman Corp. is set to upgrade its E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) fleet, operated by the U.S. Air Force, Northrop Grumman said. Existing radio terminals are to be replaced with Air Force Tactical Receive System-Ruggedized (AFTRS-R) terminals.
“One of the benefits of our 32-year partnership with the United States Air Force on Joint STARS is that we have an in-depth understanding of the E-8C fleet and its mission in support of combatant commanders globally,” said Bryan Lima, director of manned C2ISR programs for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “The AFTRS-R modification is another demonstration of our joint commitment to fleet sustainment while providing uninterrupted mission support to the warfighter until the recapitalized fleet is fielded.”
Northrop Grumman said the AFTRS-R assures that the fleet, and those using the weapon system, will receive intelligence reports. This includes threat warnings in hostile environments. The system provides data feeds from airborne and overhead electronics intelligence collectors, the company said, and allows Joint STARS to detect and track mobile threats. According to Northrop Grumman, this upgrade will modernize the Integrated Broadcast Service, replacing the currently commander’s tactical terminal/hybrid-receive only (CTT/H-R) radio. The upgrade also addresses cryptographic modernization and diminishing manufacturing sources (DMS) issues.
This contract is a separate delivery order under the Joint STARS System Improvement Program (JSSIP) III contract, which the Air Force Awarded to Northrop Grumman in 2013.