HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. --- America's eye in the sky, the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or Joint STARS, will soon be faster, quieter, more efficient and more operationally effective with a major engine upgrade effort now under way here.>> Getting new engines on E-8C test aircraft is a major milestone for the Air Force, said Col. Jim Lovell, the 751st Electronic Systems Group commander.>> "The reliability and fuel efficiency of these new engines will yield huge benefits to the warfighter -- it's all about improving operational capability," the colonel said.>> The E-8C is an airborne battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform. Its primary mission is to provide theater ground and air commanders with ground surveillance to support attack operations and targeting that contributes to the delay, disruption and destruction of enemy forces.>> "We are in the final stages of installing the entire propulsion pod system -- Pratt and Whitney JT8D engines, Seven-Q-Seven pylons, instrumentation, and thrust reversers -- on the Air Force government-owned test aircraft at the prime contractor facility in Melbourne, Fla.," said Maj. Ryan Knapp, the re-engining program manager in the 633rd Electronic Systems Squadron. "We are on track for our upcoming first flight with the T-3 (test aircraft).">> For that to happen, the propulsion pod system had to be removed from the commercially owned 707 aircraft previously used to complete the supplemental test certification program in Mojave, Calif., earlier this year. The commercial aircraft was flown to Florida, where prime contractor Northrop Grumman is removing the pod system from the Boeing jet and putting it on the T-3.
The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) of the US Air Force suffered damage during a ground maintenance operations engine run at Robinson Air Force Base, Georgia, on December 19.
According to airforcetimes