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weapons: e-8c joint stars


e-8c joint stars The aircraft is the airborne portion of the U.S. Air Force/U.S. Army Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS). The systems advanced radar, computer and communications technologies combined to create a surveillance, targeting and battle management system.

JSTARS is to ground targets what AWACS is to airborne targets. JSTARS has the capability to detect, precisely locate and track thousands of fixed and mobile targets on the ground over an area larger than 20,000 square kilometers from a stand-off distance in excess of 250 kilometers. Targets it can detect include: fighting vehicles, helicopters, low-speed aircraft, missile launchers, rotating antennas, ships/barges, tanks, trucks/convoys.


"White Paper--Air Force Performance in Desert Storm" Department of the Air Force, April 1991

"The Air Force-Army joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) proved its worth beyond the shadow of a doubt during Operation Desert Storm, despite the fact that the system was still in development and was therefore deployed with entire components left out. The airborne JSTARS provided combat commanders with near real-time information on various targets, including moving targets, in all weather conditions. As one CENTCOM intelligence officer stated, JSTARS turned out to be our most valuable platform. JSTARS and other moving target indicator (MTI) platforms, such as the Army's OV-1D Mohawk, tracked the movement of Iraqi logistics/supply units throughout the war and tracked other mobile tactical targets. This information was passed, sometimes in near real-time, to strike aircraft for targeting and destroying these Iraqi forces. That was the benefit for the Air Force. For the Army, JSTARS showed that the Iraqi forces arrayed on the front lines were not dug in and about to attack. The Army liked the downlink which showed in real time what was in front of it, while the Air Force used it for target acquisition, chiefly of moving targets."

From: "Intelligence Successes and Failures in Operations Desert Shield/Storm" -- Report of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives

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