17 E-8C Planes x 30 Months = $540M Support Costs
In mid-December 2011, Northrop Grumman Corporation announced a 30-month, $540 million contract extension, covering Total System Support Responsibility (TSSR) for the 17-plane operational fleet of E-8C JSTARS ground surveillance and battle management planes, or about $1.06 million per plane per month. This contract runs from May 1/11 to Oct 31/13 (TSSR periods 11.5 to 13). To date, Joint STARS planes have accumulated over 72,650 combat hours in 6,750 missions, most recently over Libya.
Under TSSR, Northrop Grumman is partnered with the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (ALC) for all facets of base and depot level maintenance. While the planes are built on the Boeing 707’s C-135 military relative, Northrop Grumman manufactures the radar and systems, and is responsible for overall support. They’ve been providing comprehensive performance-based logistics support to the USAF/ Georgia ANG 116th Air Control Wing for over a decade, in the United States and at its forward operating locations. In late October, the E-8 J-STARS fleet’s mission availability and falling operating costs resulted in the 2011 Performance-Based Logistics Award from the US Secretary of Defense.