Northrop Grumman received a $43 million contract to retrofit Air Force E-8C JSTARS ground-surveillance aircraft, trainers, and laboratories, announced the company. Under the deal, the company will replace computers in the aircraft’s operator work stations and radar signal processor, states the company’s Oct. 30 release. The company will also install larger OWS displays and migrate the OWS operating system to a LINUX-based, open-system architecture. The contract has options for an additional three years to complete retrofit of the entire JSTARS fleet, states the release. “The open-architecture technology insertion will enable cost-effective upgrades well into the future, allowing us to keep the platform relevant to address emerging threats, while also helping target and identify hostile movement more quickly and efficiently,” said Bryan Lima, the company’s JSTARS program director. This work is the first tasking under the JSTARS System Improvement Program III seven-year, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract that the company received on Oct. 21, confirmed a company spokesman on Thursday. (See Pentagon’s Oct. 21 list of major contracts.) (See also Replacing JSTARS.)
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.