E-10’s MP-RTIP Ground Surveillance Radar to Test Aboard Proteus
DID has covered the Boeing 707-based E-8 J-STARS ground surveillance, communications, & battle management aircraft, which is proving to be an indispensable asset in the Global War on Terror. Unfortunately, its low-density (only 17 aircraft), high-demand status creates issues [PDF format]. The J-STARS’ envisioned Boeing 767-based successor, the E-10 MC2A, will use more modern electronics and may also have the ability to perform other roles, including airspace surveillance and SIGINT/ electronic warfare roles
The J-STARS role will be covered by the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP), a high-resolution synthetic-aperture ground surveillance radar made by Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. This will be an advanced development of the radar currently used by the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV. Of course, those improvements would also benefit the USA’s growing Global Hawk fleet – which is why the 851st Electronic Systems Group is preparing for a year-long test of the smaller MP-RTIP version aboard Rutan’s Proteus. Proteus, pictured above, would later influence his “White Knight,” the carrier vehicle for the X-Prize winning, history-making SpaceshipOne. See the US Air Force Link story for further details.