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Northrop Grumman is to continue its longstanding partnership with the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) to provide total systems support for all facets of support and sustainment for the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS). The company has received a $330 million twelve-month contract to provide Total System Support Responsibility (TSSR) for TSSR Year 19, which began on 1 November.

Northrop Grumman will provide programme management, engineering technical support, aircrew and maintenance training, supply chain and spares management, technical data and publications, program depot maintenance and overall customer support.

The C2ISR division looks forward to the continued teaming with Northrop Grumman to improve critical aircraft availability to our combatant commanders while executing our Joint STARS 2030 roadmap,” commented the senior materiel leader, C2ISR Division, Digital Directorate, AFLCMC, Col David Menke.

While supporting the Joint STARS mission over the past 33 years, we have focused on keeping the high-demand E-8C fleet available and mission capable for the combatant commanders. Our commitment to the supported soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen at the forward operating locations remains steadfast,” added Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Vice President, Military Aircraft Surveillance Programs, Jane Bishop. “The 24/7 support we provide to our warfighters under TSSR, coupled with the rapid fielding of new capabilities, is an effective way to ensure mission success. We completed the Air Force Tactical Receive System-Ruggedized upgrade in just 12 months and are now implementing a fifth-generation upgrade to the fleet’s central computers [….] The E-8Cs continue to serve as a low-risk pathfinder for the US Air Force through continued fleet capability enhancements, while the Air Force develops the follow-on advanced battle management system.”

Joint STARS is the only platform in the US arsenal that combines accurate, wide-area, moving target detection with synthetic aperture radar imagery to locate, classify and track surface targets in all weather conditions from standoff distances. The fleet has flown more than 130,000 combat mission hours in support of US Central Command since 11 September 2001.

Team JSTARS, consisting of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing, the active-duty 461st Air Control Wing and the Army JSTARS detachment, provides joint airborne C2ISR support over land and water to combatant commanders around the globe. The total force integration unit operates the world’s only Joint STARS weapon system, based out of Robins Air Force Base. In addition to work at Robins, TSSR is supported by employees and partners at the Northrop Grumman Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence in Melbourne, FL, the Lake Charles Maintenance and Modification Center in Lake Charles, LA, and more than 30 major suppliers across the United States.

An E-8C aircrew monitors moving target indication data during a mission supporting BALTOPS 2018 and Saber Strike 18 exercises at Fighter Wing Skrydstrup, Denmark, 12 June 2018. (Photo: US Air National Guard/Senior Master Sgt Roger Parsons)

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