The JSTARS Recapitalization program was recently designated its own division within the battle management directorate at Hanscom AFB, Mass., according to a Dec. 17 release. The new division is comprised of three branches: systems engineering, integration, and testing; an aircraft and communications platform branch; and a mission systems branch, which oversees radar and battle management command and control. Col. David Learned, who will serve as the JSTARS recap senior materiel leader, said the move to make the program a separate division provides “the organizational structure and dedicated resources needed to get the job done.” He added, “The timing of the stand-up conveys the Air Force’s sense of urgency to get started, and its commitment to satisfying the JSTARS mission set at a lower life cycle cost, as maintenance costs are rising and aircraft reliability is decreasing in the aging JSTARS fleet.” The engineering, manufacturing, and development phase of the JSTARS program is set to kick off in 2017.
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."