D.C. Air Defense Refresh

The Air Force requested information from industry on updating or replacing the National Capital Region’s ground-based air defense surveillance equipment, Air Force Lifecycle Management Center officials announced. The Enhanced Regional Situational Awareness (ERSA) system, which was rapidly fielded in response to the 2001 terrorist attacks, “is predicated on a 13-year-old architecture,” said AFLCMC Project Manager John Delgado at Hanscom AFB, M?ass. “By modernizing ERSA, we will reduce the system’s footprint, cost, and obtain greater efficiencies,” he added in the April 7 release. ERSA includes long-range optical aircraft identification systems and cameras, as well as a visual warning system to signal errant pilots, and operator workstations within the NCR. The refresh effort aims to enable open interface and future upgrades. In addition, “We are taking something that was put together for an urgent need” and normalizing it as a standard program, said Delgado. “Now we need to ensure … that we have built the next generation creatively and wisely,” he added. NORAD also announced earlier this week that it is working to put AESA radars on alert F-16s defending the region.