Boeing Again Pushes P-8 as a JSTARS Replacement

AIN Defense Perspective » November 18, 2011
Boeing P-8A
The P-8A could also be taking off as a U.S. Air Force E-8 JSTARS replacement, if the service accepts Boeing’s proposal. (Photo: Boeing)
November 18, 2011, 11:49 AM

Boeing has expanded on its proposal to replace the U.S. Air Force E-8 Joint STARS air-ground surveillance aircraft (AGS) with a version of the P-8 Poseidon. The Air Force is planning to re-engine and upgrade the E-8 fleet.

Northrop Grumman, the current E-8 prime contractor, would probably do the work. But Boeing argues that it would be cheaper to buy a P-8 AGS that offers improved capability and much lower operating costs.

At the Dubai Air Show earlier this week, Egan Greenstein, Boeing’s senior manager of business development, said that a P-8 AGS could also exploit the weapons-carrying capability of the Naval P-8 so that “the sensor and the shooter could be on the same platform.” A P-8A released its first weapon, a Mk54 torpedo, last month.

An alternative external load could be air-dropped UAVs that would be controlled by the P-8 “mothership.” Under the U.S. Navy contract, the P-8A already has Level 2 control capabilities for UAVs such as the BAMS maritime surveillance vehicle, and the Australian 737AEW&C has demonstrated UAV control by satellite link. Carrying UAVs that could be launched when needed could be the next step.

As well as the P-8 AGS, Boeing is also proposing versions of the P-8 for other U.S. special-mission versions. Aircraft such as the RC-135 Rivet Joint, OC-135 Open Skies platform and WC-135 environmental monitoring platform will all need to be replaced.

FILED UNDER: 
Share this...

Please Register

In order to leave comments you will now need to be a registered user. This change in policy is to protect our site from an increased number of spam comments. Additionally, in the near future you will be able to better manage your AIN subscriptions via this registration system. If you already have an account, click here to log in. Otherwise, click here to register.

 
X