Son of E-10

The Air Force is preparing to publish a request for information to industry regarding a new platform to replace many of its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft, Gen. Michael Moseley said in an interview May 12. “We’re looking to release an RFI pretty soon on the follow-on to JSTARS, Rivet Joint, and AWACS,” said the Air Force Chief of Staff. However, that move is on hold pending a Government Accountability Office decision, due in mid-June, on the Boeing protest over award of the new KC-45A tanker contract to Northrop Grumman. “We need to come to closure on the tanker issue so we know what kinds of airframes—plural—that we have as opportunities so we can get an RFI out there and perhaps an RFP [request for proposals],” Moseley observed. The current ISR fleet has commonality with the KC-135 tanker airframe, and the Air Force has long wanted a new ISR platform to follow suit to reduce logistics costs and possibly procurement costs. An earlier effort to pursue a new ISR platform settled on the Boeing 767; however that aircraft, known as the E-10, perished in budget drills, although the requirement did not disappear. Moseley said he has continued to insert funding requests for the large version of the MP-RTIP radar system—which would have flown aboard the E-10—in his unfunded requirements lists and supplemental budget requests.