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Boeing E-8 Joint STARS Military Aircraft

The Boeing E-8 Joint STARS was built for the USAF by Northrop Grumman using a modified Boeing 707 airframe fitted with the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System as a battle management and command and control aircraft, it is able to track ground vehicles, walking targets and low speed aircraft whilst relaying tactical pictures to theatre commanders on the ground in real-time. The AN/APY-7 radar fitted in the E-8 Joint STARS is capable of tracking 600 targets simultaneously at a range greater than 150 miles.

Boeing E-8 Joint STARS Military Aircraft


It is noteworthy that the prototype Boeing E-8 Joint STARS were deployed to Iraq in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm where they successfully tracked Iraqi tanks and Scud missile launchers before it's official introduction later in the year. A total of 17 E-8 Joint STARS have been produced, the last being delivered in March 2005 and have been used by the United States Air Force, Air National Guard and United States Army.

Northrop Grumman E-8C Joint STARS Specifications:

  • Crew: Flight crew of four and up to 18 military specialists dependant on mission parameters
  • Length: 152 ft 11 in (46.6 m)
  • Wingspan: 145 ft 9 in (44.4 m)
  • Height: 42 ft 6 in (13 m)
  • Max takeoff weight: 336,000 lb (152,409 kg)
  • Engines: Four 19,200 lbf (85 kN) Pratt & Whitney TF33-102C turbofans
  • Endurance: 9 hours (extendable by in-air re-fueling)
  • Cruise speed: operational speed 390 to 510 knots (722 to 945 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 42,000 ft (12,802 m)

Radar: AN/APY-7 with these operating modes-

  • WAS - Wide area surveillance
  • GMTI - Ground moving target indicator
  • FTI - Fixed target indicator - target classification
  • SAR - Synthetic aperture radar

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