E-8C Joint STARS

Joint STARS Video


The Only Total Weapons System of Its Kind

The Northrop Grumman E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System – known as Joint STARS – is the U.S. Air Force’s premier airborne C2ISR platform. The only total weapons system of its kind, Joint STARS has provided air-to-ground battle management C2 and surveillance operations to U.S. combatant commands for more than 25 years in support of military operations, disaster relief, peacekeeping and counter-drug missions.


More Relevant Than Ever

While Joint STARS was conceptualized as a means of tracking during the Cold War, the fleet is more relevant than ever, operating at surge levels since 2002. Today, it is the only platform in the U.S. arsenal that combines accurate wide-area moving target detection with synthetic aperture radar imagery to locate, classify and track targets in all weather conditions from standoff distances.

Joint STARS offers battlefield commanders real-time situational information, while simultaneously transmitting target locations to aircraft and ground strike forces. It has flown more than 130,000 combat hours since 9/11 supporting operations globally, including Operation Inherent Resolve over Iraq and Syria.

Joint STARS cockpit maintenanceJoint STARS taking offJoint STARS on the tarmac offJoint STARS crew at consolesJoint STARS cut away

Joint STARS cockpit maintenance

Joint STARS taking off

Joint STARS on the tarmac off

Joint STARS crew at consoles

Joint STARS cut away


Keeping the Fleet Flying: Total System Support Responsibility

chartThousands of Northrop Grumman employees work side by side with our men and women in uniform to maintain JSTARS fleet readiness under the Total System Support Responsibility contract – or TSSR. Since the program’s inception in 2000, Northrop Grumman has partnered with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center to provide integrated logistics support to the 116th and 461st Air Control Wings for sustainment and support of the fleet at Robins Air Force Base and at forward operating locations worldwide.

In addition to work at Robins Air Force Base, TSSR is supported by employees and partners at the Northrop Grumman Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence in Melbourne, Fla., the Lake Charles Maintenance and Modification Center, in Lake Charles, La., and more than 30 major suppliers across the United States.

Iconic Capability, Seamless Evolution

In support of the recapitalization of Joint STARS, Northrop Grumman has developed an offering based on more than 30 years of mission expertise and unparalleled advanced BMC2 capability. Learn more about JSTARS Recapitalization.