JSTARS Recaptialization Program

JSTARS Recapitalization Program
Lockheed Martin has put together a power-house team with Bombardier, Raytheon and Sierra Nevada Corporation to deliver a low-risk, affordable solution for the United States Air Force’s Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Recapitalization (JSTARS Recap) program.

Embracing the United States government’s desire for strong industry partnerships, the Lockheed Martin-led JSTARS Recap team will provide the Air Force capabilities superior to the current JSTARS. Lockheed Martin will serve as the lead systems integrator and will bring a robust suite of battle management, command and control (BMC2) services; Bombardier will provide a proven, affordable business jet; Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) will perform modifications to the Global 6000 aircraft; and Raytheon will bring to the team their experience with ground surveillance and battle management systems and JSTARS communications.

The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® JSTARS Recap team recently expanded its depth with the addition of SNC, bringing greater value to the U.S. Air Force. SNC, which previously qualified as a prime contractor candidate for the program, will perform modifications to Bombardier’s Global 6000 aircraft, and will help obtain the necessary airworthiness certifications from the FAA and Air Force. This strategic partnership further enhances the powerful industry team and drives additional cost, schedule and performance efficiencies for the Air Force.

Lockheed Martin was competitively selected to execute a Pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract. During this program, the team helped the government assess existing subsystem technical maturity, reduce weapon system engineering and integration risk, and reduce life cycle cost. The team successfully accomplished a Preliminary Design Review and conducted prototype demonstration and simulation activities. As a result, the Lockheed Martin-led JSTARS Recap team is positioned to win follow-on development and production contracts to affordably deliver critical combat capability to the warfighter.


Battle Management, Command and Control

Given the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works team's leadership in battle management and ISR open system architecture (OSA) and systems integration, we have the capabilities the Air Force needs to meet and exceed their objectives to deliver the next generation of airborne BMC2 capability to the U.S. warfighter.

Rather than using unique or customized hardware and software approaches adapted to an OSA environment, our architecture is truly open and free of proprietary interfaces. This allows us to leverage state-of-the-art commercial technology to expedite integration of capabilities and minimize cost.

As a leader in the Air Force’s Open Mission Systems (OMS) OSA standard, Lockheed Martin’s BMC2 services are already available to meet the stated architectural requirements of the JSTARS Recap system.


Bombardier will provide its ultra-long-range Global business jet platform, which is less expensive to operate than modern airliners and is uniquely suited to the JSTARS Recap mission by allowing the on-board radar to see further and deeper into valleys and survey the battlespace for extended periods of time without refueling.  

The Global 6000 business jet hits the sweet spot in terms of size, cost and performance:

  • Size: 94-ft wingspan, 99,500-lb take off gross weight, 13 passengers (standard configuration)
  • Low Operating and Support Cost: (unmodified aircraft) $3,500/hr (OEM maintenance programs)
  • Performance:  (unmodified aircraft) 6,000 NM range at M 0.85, 51,000 ft max operating altitude
  • Proven track record: The Global 6000 currently flies in the Air Force inventory as the E-11A, providing a vital battlefield airborne communications node. It also operates with the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, the German Luftwaffe and the Federal Aviation Administration.

SNC will modify the Global 6000 jet to perform the JSTARS Recap mission, and will help secure the necessary airworthiness certifications. SNC brings decades of military modification experience, bringing greater value to the partnership, and the team’s ability to deliver a premier solution to the U.S. Air Force.


Lockheed Martin submitted two proposals, providing the Air Force additional flexibility in its weapon system selection. One proposal includes Raytheon’s state-of-the-art Active Electronically Scanned Array, long-range, ground surveillance radar. The second includes a powerful radar developed by Northrop Grumman Mission Systems.  


The JSTARS Recap fleet requires a robust communications solution to handle its extensive BMC2 function on multiple frequencies with a variety of users. Our low-risk communications system will be packaged to operate on a smaller airframe with no adverse interference between the various radios. Our joint-industry team will employ its experience from working on the current JSTARS platform’s communications suite along with open communications architectures to deliver an effective BMC2 capability on the JSTARS Recap system.

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