Defense companies Raytheon and Northrop Grumman have been awarded contracts from the United States Air Force to further develop a radar subsystem. The new Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (also known as JStars) will undergo technological development from the manufacturers over the next year and a half. The two companies were selected by the Air Force because both are based in the United States, and they felt those were the only ones capable of delivering what was needed.“[…] and market research has indicated the aforementioned companies are the only two capable of meeting government requirements, read a statement from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Hanscom Air Force Base in a public notice dated January 26.
The Air Force has a crucial need for an upgrade to these radars at this time. A cost-effective solution is necessary to keep our defenses on point.
“JStars recapitalization is absolutely necessary for the Air Force to continue providing a combat-proven capability to the warfighter, the service expressed. Sustainment of the legacy JStars is growing more difficult as the fleet ages, and sustainment costs are increasing beyond the Air Force's ability to afford.
The JStars recapitalization program will replace the Air Force's existing fleet of Boeing 707-based E-8C aircraft. Raytheon's proposal to the Air Force involves a radar they provided to the United States Navy's P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft The APS-154 electronically scanned advanced aerial sensor. Northrop Grumman was thinking of using that same radar, or perhaps one of their own.
The Pentagon's Defense Acquisition Board granted approval last year to take the JStars into the next phase of development. The Air Force is currently on schedule to release their draft request proposals in regards to manufacturing and developing in the coming months.
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