MP-RTIP Demo for Joint STARS

The Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $57.1 million contract on Aug. 7 to supply “a demonstration unit of the initial parts” of the MP-RTIP radar configured for the E-8C Joint STARS ground-surveillance aircraft. MP-RTIP is the sophisticated advanced electronically steered array radar system that Northrop and Raytheon are developing for the Air Force’s RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. Jim Stratford, Northrop spokesman, told the Daily Report Monday that the purpose of this contract is to demonstrate what can be done with non-sensor elements of the MP-RTIP to improve the performance of the Joint STARS’ existing APY-7 radar system. According to the company, the APY-7 is facing looming parts obsolescence issues early next decade. The Air Force has been looking at options to install a version of the MP-RTIP on the E-8C. This step doesn’t quite go that far, but would be an improvement. (Defense Department Aug. 7 contract announcements)