Northrop Grumman Corp. will integrate a new, more capable weather radar system on US Air Force E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft under a recent award from the Air Force’s Electronic Systems Center. The new radar will give pilots more accurate information about weather conditions along their flight route. The $5.9 M award — a modification to the company’s existing Joint STARS production contract — covers the first 16 Joint STARS previously delivered to the Air Force, plus a test bed aircraft and a flight trainer aircraft. Northrop Grumman is scheduled to install the new radar in the 17th Joint STARS prior to delivery early next year. The company expects to complete the upgrade work by March 2005. The E-8C Joint STARS is the world’s most advanced airborne ground surveillance, targeting and battle management system. From a standoff position, it detects, locates, classifies, tracks and targets hostile ground movements, communicating real-time information through secure data links with the US command posts.