Report: Air Force Mulls JSTARS Recap Program Cancellation

The U.S. Air Force plans to put an end to the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft recapitalization program in its budget request for fiscal 2019, Defense News reported Saturday.

Sources told the publication the service will instead advance a “system-of-systems approach” that seeks to combine existing platforms to carry out command-and-control functions and track land-based targets.

Under the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, Defense Secretary James Mattis must come up with a report should the service decide to cancel the JSTARS recap program.

The secretary should explain how the service will carry out its mission sans the program and prove that the cancellation would not result in a capability gap.

The Air Force had planned to procure 17 new JSTARS aircraft under a potential $6.9 billion engineering, manufacturing and design contract, the report added.

Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman were awarded contracts in August 2015 to develop prototypes and perform risk reduction work under the program’s pre-EMD phase.

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