Air Force Plan To Abort Replacement Of J-Stars Radar Planes Is Full Of Flaws
If this sounds suspicious to you, it should.
- This plan will not work. If it becomes the official Air Force solution for sustaining airborne tracking of moving ground targets, then the mission will gradually go away -- depriving U.S. and allied troops on the ground of vital tactical information they may have no other way of obtaining, like where Russian tanks are on a foggy day in Poland. Here are five reasons why Congress should be highly skeptical of the latest plan for tracking moving ground targets that the Air Staff has cooked up.
Click Like to Follow Fliegerfaust Facebook page to get the News ASAP / Share to share this post now.
The U.S. Air Force operates a fleet of 16 radar planes that are unique in their ability to track moving ground targets. They are called the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or J-Stars, and each plane can track up to 600 targets simultaneously, day or night, through rain or dust, clouds or haze. J-Stars pierces the fog of war, providing friendly troops with detailed information on where enemies are, how many vehicles they have, what direction they are traveling, and at what speed.
This is life-saving information. Two years ago, the Air Force's top weapons buyer said, "If you look at how they're using J-Stars in the fight today, it's incredible what it's doing." But he also warned that the planes were so old that they might "fall out of the sky" in the near future. At the time, the Air Force was implementing a plan to replace the J-Stars fleet with a new generation of radar planes.
But now it isn't so sure. This summer, the Air Force suddenly disclosed that the existing fleet could remain airworthy until 2030; that it might be too vulnerable to survive in future fights; that other means already existed for performing the mission; and that it would conduct a quick-reaction study to determine how the replacement effort might be restructured. That study was supposed to wrap up this month, but findings may not be disclosed until the Pentagon's next budget request is sent to Congress in February.