U.S. Air Force E-8C Joint STARS Takes Off With New Engines

  • (Source: Northrop Grumman Corp.)
  • 12:00 AM, December 24, 2008
  • 3402
MELBOURNE, Fla. --- The U.S. Air Force E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) test bed aircraft took to the air Saturday, powered by new Pratt & Whitney JT-8D-219 engines. This flight marks the start of Northrop Grumman Corporation's E-8C-specific military air worthiness certification test program, which will last into next spring.>> Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the Joint STARS, a modified commercial aircraft that detects, locates, classifies, tracks and targets hostile ground movements, communicating real-time information through secure data links.>> We are another step closer to the benefits these new engines bring to our troops,'' said Tom Vice, vice president, Eastern Region, of Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. The increased operational efficiencies inherent in this design translate to less money spent in maintenance and more time flying. Joint STARS will climb faster, fly higher, and require fewer inflight refuelings, which all translate to more time on station, providing valuable information to our ground troops. We are committed to providing this new capability to the warfighter as soon as possible.''>> Joint STARS uses a sophisticated radar system that can scan an entire region and then send the data to a computer which analyzes movement and alerts reconnaissance specialists of any suspicious activity in near-real time. Operators onboard the aircraft can provide ground and air commanders with command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance information on ground-based enemy activities from hundreds of miles away.