Grumman will enhance the capabilities of its Joint Surveillance
Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS), installed on the fleet
of E-8C Joint STARS aircraft. The enhancements will introduce
improved mobile target precision tracking and engagement capability
with the radar's Land/Maritime Mode (ELMM). The technology to
be used for the upgrade is an outgrowth of the successful DARPA
Affordable Moving Surface Target Engagement (AMSTE) program,
demonstrated in recent exercises and includes an Advanced Radar
Mode (ARM) upgrade to the Joint STARS sensor. During these demonstrations,
target coordinates were exported from Joint STARS radars directly
to GPS guided JDAM munitions.
The E-8C Joint STARS is the world's most advanced wide-area
airborne ground-surveillance, targeting and battle-management
system. It detects, locates, classifies, tracks and targets
hostile ground movements, communicating real-time information
through secure data links with joint and component command and
control elements. The ARM upgrade will provide a Swath Synthetic
Aperture Radar (Swath SAR) mode and provide an Enhanced SAR
mode in a new processing architecture that provides additional
growth for future enhancements. It also provides additional
capability to disseminate high resolution imagery from the Joint
STARS radar to ground commanders.
All Joint STARS aircraft are assigned to the Georgia Air National
Guard's 116th Air Control Wing, a "total-force blended
wing," based at Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Ga.
The wing comprises active-duty Air Force, Army and Air National
Northrop Grumman is providing the wing with operations as part
of multi-year Total System Support Responsibility (TSSR) sustainment
and Joint STARS Extended Test Support (JETS) programs.