New Radar Would Meld
AWACS, J-STARS Roles
by David A. Fulghum/Washington
06/09/00 03:36:20 PM U.S. EDT
Radar improvement programs such as the E-8 Joint-STARS upgrade and Discoverer 2 radar-carrying satellite are being slashed because new technology is now being developed that combines long-range, air-to-air and air-to-ground radar in a single system with a single aperture.
The new concept also incorporates active electronically scanned array technology that is cheap, lightweight, small and can virtually be "sold by the foot" for a wide range of airborne applications.
Finally, the new radar system being envisioned by the Air Force would include a classified capability developed as an upgrade to the E-8 Joint-STARS ground surveillance radar aircraft that allows the tracking of fast, stealthy, cruise-missile-size flying targets at hundreds of miles distance. Supports say the new systems would cost $100 million each compared to $800 million for a JSTARS upgrade.