The US Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Co. two contracts worth a total of $254 M for the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS). The contracts cover work on the Joint STARS Total System Support Responsibility (TSSR) sustainment andJoint STARS Extended Test Support (JETS) programs.

The $140 M TSSR award is for a seventh year, through 2007, following an initial six-year $810 M contract awarded in 2000, bringing the total cumulative value of the TSSR contract to $950 M. The initial contract included options that could extend Northrop Grumman’s participation on this program for more than two decades. Through this TRSS contract, the Air Force has reduced the cost of supporting the E-8C fleet by having the prime contractor, Northrop Grumman, partner with the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center. This cooperative business initiative has been a model for complete life cycle support.

The Air Logistics Center and Northrop Grumman use each other’s best practices to provide economical Joint STARS support that fully meets the needs of the operational aircraft fleet. Northrop Grumman provides integrated management of all facets of depot maintenance, including some technology refreshment. The Air Force Logistics Center provided a dedicated management team in concert with software maintenance support, critical parts manufacture and repair of specific mission system items. Under this contract, most of the normal aircraft heavy depot maintenance repair and overhaul, including system upgrade modifications, will continue at the Lake Charles, LA Modification Center operated by Northrop Grumman. The contract also includes subcontract competition and small business participation.

The JETS II contract, worth $114 M over four years, provides test support capability for the Joint STARS Improvement Program. JETS II is a continuation of the current $64.8 M JETS program with similar objectives and provisions. The contract provides the critical skill infrastructure and the test assets necessary for the continued evolution and development of the Joint STARS system. The key mission objectives under the JETS II contract include: conducting government testing; providing training and proficiency flights for mission crew and primary aircrew; office facilities for the government Joint Test Force, engineering services; participation in system demonstrations and exercises; and installation, evaluation, demonstration and testing of potential system modifications and improvements. Both contracts are managed by the Air Force Material Command. The TSSR contract is managed through the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base, GA, and the JETS II contract is managed through the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, MA.