Joint STARS Test Bed Completes Deployment

By Tish Drake | January 18, 2011
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Northrop Grumman's E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) test bed aircraft completed the second of two deployments to Naval Air Station Pt. Mugu, Calif., in support of the U.S. Navy Joint Surface Warfare (JSuW) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) to test its Network-Enabled Weapon (NEW) architecture, the company announced Monday..

The Joint STARS aircraft executed three Operational Utility Assessment flights and demonstrated its ability to guide anti-ship weapons against surface combatants at a variety of standoff distances in the NEW architecture, Northrop Grumman said. The Joint STARS aircraft served as the network command-and-control node, as well as a node for transmitting in-flight target message updates to an AGM-154 C-1 Joint Standoff Weapon carried by Navy F/A-18's using its advanced long range tracking and targeting capability.

"The capability developed in this JCTD will provide a quantum leap in a commander's ability to conduct surface warfare with increased lethality to enemy forces and increased survivability of friendly forces," said Brittany Ridings, U.S. Air Force JSuW program manager. "From the Joint STARS perspective, the demonstration was completely successful, as we were able to meet all objectives. We transmitted a series of in-flight target update messages that were received and positively acknowledged, and the simulation indicated that the weapon would hit its target effectively."

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