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Devilfish
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Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:09 am

In yet another twist to the long running quest for a JSTARS replacement (previously dominated by the 767-based E-10A), Boeing is now proposing also an armed variant of their P-8A MMA.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...p-8-variant-to-replace-jstars.html

Quote:
"Boeing has revealed a new version of the P-8 Poseidon aimed at challenging the primacy of the 707-based Northrop Grumman E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) as a platform that detects and strikes moving targets on the ground.

The 737-based P-8 aerial ground surveillance (AGS) concept, unveiled as a wall-sized mural at the Air Force Association's Air Warfare Symposium on 18 February, proposes to add a next generation radar, such as the Raytheon Advanced Airborne Sensor (AAS), and - unlike the unarmed E-8C - an onboard package of bombs and missiles."


Though this time around, it seems NG's alliances with the competition in previous tenders has caused a fallout, resulting in Raytheon being mentioned as a likely sensor partner. Predictably, NG reacted quickly to the concept.

Presumably, fairings would be built onto the airframe of this old conceptual SIGINT design to accommodate the arrays.
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/images/AIR_737_SIGINT_Cutaway_lg.jpg
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...ages/AIR_737_SIGINT_Cutaway_lg.jpg

We might also see the "winged torpedo" idea morph into some sort of a "winged smart bomb" --- hopefully, an economic recovery could see this development to completion. And not fall by the wayside as another one of those lenghty, ridiculously expensive, exercises in futility.
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Lumberton
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:26 pm

Intriguing concept. However, as we've seen with Wedgetail, integrating the systems is the tricky part. I'd be suspect of the claim:

Quote:
Boeing claims it can deliver 17 new P-8s for the amount it would cost to modernize the E-8C with a new engine and new avionics, according to Jim Eisenhart, senior manager for airborne warning systems.
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:54 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 1):
I'd be suspect of the claim:

I believe they COULD deliver new 737-based aircraft on time and on budget, but WOULD they..  
 
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par13del
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:13 am

They should go back to the 767 frame, larger, more range, more space to accomodate gear, more space for crew, more power basically a more fuel efficient a/c than the 707 and more capable than a 737 frame. Add in the fact that is has proven its longevity, and is not too large to be too cumbersome, now that they can get the right sensor partner, the air frame shoudl be an easy winner.

When the 767 replacement program was scrapped was it due to the air frame or the sensor equipment?
 
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:14 am

Why not a 737-900ER frame.
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ebj1248650
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:36 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 4):
Why not a 737-900ER frame.

Good point! Wouldn't the 738 based version lack enough room to house the crew and their consoles, not to mention the essential equipment?
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:25 am

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 5):

Good point! Wouldn't the 738 based version lack enough room to house the crew and their consoles, not to mention the essential equipment?

I think the 737-900ER would be perfect, range wouldn't be an issue with inflight refueling capability.
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:28 am

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 5):
Wouldn't the 738 based version lack enough room to house the crew and their consoles, not to mention the essential equipment?

They should be performing new systems design on this. The new systems should be smaller and/or more capable. Who really knows what size is needed? I sure don't. Probably a 737 with tanks can do a really good job. A 767 with tanks would have huge 20 hour range. That's always good. But, it really depends what they want... a huge airplane with 100 engineers? What if you lose something like that? And, do they have enough work to occupy 100 people? Or is this a 15-20 person job? Beats me...

Quoting STT757 (Reply 6):
I think the 737-900ER would be perfect, range wouldn't be an issue with inflight refueling capability.

Sure it's an issue, tankering is very expensive and requires a whole other airplane. But, in a pinch, of course you are right.
 
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:29 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 7):

They should be performing new systems design on this. The new systems should be smaller and/or more capable. Who really knows what size is needed? I sure don't. Probably a 737 with tanks can do a really good job. A 767 with tanks would have huge 20 hour range. That's always good. But, it really depends what they want... a huge airplane with 100 engineers? What if you lose something like that? And, do they have enough work to occupy 100 people? Or is this a 15-20 person job? Beats me...

Wiki says E-8C typically flies with flight crew of four, plus 15 Air Force and three Army specialists. It also says there are eighteen operator workstations.

globalsecurity.org says:

Quote:
The Block 20 E-8C's contain commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology computers for operating the Joint STARS surveillance equipment. Each airplane uses 20 AlphaServer ES40CV systems from Compaq Computer Corporation, running the OpenVMS operating system. Eighteen of those systems will function as workstations, one as a central computer and one as a central backup. By using commercially available computer systems, Northrop Grumman was able to provide the customer with increased reliability, advanced technologies and increased processing power, all while achieving the original goal of this program -- to provide lower cost per aircraft. This may be the largest integrated application of COTS technology in a weapons system anywhere in the Air Force. Traditionally, equipment used in the military surveillance and combat environments has been highly specialized and highly customized. The fact that commercially available technology like Compaq's AlphaServer ES40CV systems can be integrated into those environments is a testament to the performance, reliability and functionality of Compaq's industry-leading technology. Application of COTS technology will provide improved maintainability for the Air Force.

I am very familiar with AlphaServer ES40 systems. Clearly they are 2001 era technology, so newer stuff would probably yield improvements in terms of compute power and size, but not necessarily in power consumed if one wanted to preserve the OpenVMS software and thus chose to run it on HP IA64 Itanium systems.

Overall, it'd seem feasible to have 18 consoles plus room for electronics plus room for a bit of crew rest etc.

I just don't know if there will be room for the radar. Clearly the E-8C has radar on the bottom of the plane so it can do its primary mission of ground search. Is there enough room to mount a good radar on the bottom of a 737 with its short landing gear?
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Devilfish
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:41 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 7):
They should be performing new systems design on this. The new systems should be smaller and/or more capable. [.....] Or is this a 15-20 person job?

Boeing was on record that they could expand to 25 stations their conceptual SIGINT/ELINT system without problems.....

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...to-offer-sigint-737-updated-01795/

Quote:
"Indeed, Boeing has said they can increase the mission crew capacity and associated equipment to 24-25 positions without crowding or overloading."

That may also be true for this application.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 8):
I just don't know if there will be room for the radar. Clearly the E-8C has radar on the bottom of the plane so it can do its primary mission of ground search. Is there enough room to mount a good radar on the bottom of a 737 with its short landing gear?

This conceptual image shows a canoe fairing under the belly of the aircraft. So, it's fair to conclude that it has been thought out.....

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/images/AIR_737_SIGINT_Flying_lg.jpg

Quote:
"The aft weapons bay would be sealed, and a small 'canoe' bulge would be added underneath to house a series of rotating SIGINT/ELINT antennas."

This could mean that ordnance may be limited to wing stations unless they build the fairings on the fuselage bulkheads.
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:18 am

Update:

This video shows the proposed configuration.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/th...ideo-boeing-unveils-p-8-varia.html

Seeing that this seems to be an unsolicited proposal, would the USAF bite?



[Edited 2010-02-23 20:00:44]
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:54 am

Quoting STT757 (Reply 4):
Why not a 737-900ER frame.
Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 10):
Seeing that this seems to be an unsolicited proposal, would the USAF bite?

Well, they've also proposed the P-8 to fulfill the ACS requirement, after the initial contract fell through for that. Along with the C-40 and Wedgetail, it seems to me that the 737NG is becoming the new C-135 — that is, a highly adaptable airframe.
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:42 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
They should go back to the 767 frame, larger, more range, more space to accomodate gear, more space for crew, more power basically a more fuel efficient a/c than the 707 and more capable than a 737 frame.

The 767-400 was used because it was the smallest airframe they can use that has enough capability to possibly (and I mean possibly) add an airborne radar on top along with the ground search radar bellow. If cost was not an issue, the 777 frame would have been able to handle both the power and space for both air and ground radar.

The 767-400 frame was also used because they want to put on the biggest radar they can, to improve the range and size of target they can detect. With the curvature of the earth, the range limiting, but with the larger the radar, the smaller the size vehicle can be detected.

Of course, the tanker decision impacted E-10 quite a bit.

So with the 737 frame, they may have to go with a smaller radar. However, if there is an increase in radar capability, then they might be able to meet the spec and go with the smaller frame.

Wing pod for weapons are still more than what they have today . . . why wait for a strike plane, when you can take out the target yourself 

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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:00 pm

Here is the latest:

http://www.defensedaily.com/publicat...JSTARS-For-$5-5-Billion_12600.html


"Jim Eisenhart, Boeing's senior business development manager for airborne warning systems, said last month that a new fleet of 17 weaponized, 737-based aerial ground surveillance (AGS) planes with a next-generation radar would cost the Pentagon $5.5 billion. Eisenhart noted that it would cost approximately as much to modernize the E-8 fleet with new engines and avionics. "

Don't know if this is going anywhere, but salesmen have to sell . . .

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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:52 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
When the 767 replacement program was scrapped was it due to the air frame or the sensor equipment?

I think it was due to the realization that no one could figure out any possible scenario under which you could afford it. Remember it was meant to replace E-3, E-8 and RC-135.

So Boeing is trying to sneak its nose into the tent. It seems from other news reports that the money to re-engine the JSTARS was budgeted a long time ago, but it seems Boeing thinks it can pull off an "October surprise"?

Refs:

http://www.deagel.com/news/Pratt-and...-Joint-STARS-Fleet_n000004285.aspx

http://www.defenseprocurementnews.com/topics/companies/seven-q-seven/
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:42 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 14):

I think it was due to the realization that no one could figure out any possible scenario under which you could afford it.

Also, the original E-10 767 was intended to be a test bed to develop the NG radar and evaluate other concepts the Air Force was interested in. I don't think the 767 was a lock as the final airframe configuration.

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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:59 pm

I would favor the 787-8   The 737 seems to be a little small and the 767 is an already outdated aircraft
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:23 pm

Quoting columba (Reply 16):
I would favor the 787-8

. . . and you get some build-in STEALTH with the CRFP airframe and wing  

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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:15 am

The last E-8s were delivered in the mid 2000s but that doesn't truly speak to the actual age of the airframes. Does anyone know the overall fleet age? My information has it that all of the E-8s are ex civilian birds. With civilian 707 production ceasing in 1978, that could make the youngest E-8 a sprightly 32 years old. Some of the photos I've seen show wizzbang computer stations in the back with all the latest and greatest technology...with the adjoining photos of the cockpit showing a steam gauge wonderland. What efficiencies would moving to a new 737 based platform have over the current E-8s? Just because a cockpit doesn't have a computer screen in it doesn't mean the aircaft can't do its job. Heck, my training C-152s were dinosaurs next to the brand spanking new C-172R/SPs that everyone else was flying. Analoge gauges next to computer screens. With that said, mine went for $60 an hour wet while the latest and greatest rang in at $110.


What does a new P-8 JSTARS do for the US military that a re-engined E-8 doesn't already bring to the table? With that said, at some point the 707 airframes have to be retired. It is incredible to think about the actual aircraft age of the many programs flown within the USAF using Boeing's 707.
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titanmiller
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:29 am

Quoting CX747 (Reply 18):
With civilian 707 production ceasing in 1978, that could make the youngest E-8 a sprightly 32 years old.

See this thread: 707's Built In The 90's? (by Matt D Mar 5 2000 in Civil Aviation)

The last 707 was built in 1991.
 
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:08 am

Quoting CX747 (Reply 18):
With civilian 707 production ceasing in 1978, that could make the youngest E-8 a sprightly 32 years old.

The last B-52 was built in 1963, making all B-52s 47+ years old.

Thus the same frame lobbing JDAMs over the 'stans was probably also lobbing dumb bombs over the Ho Chi Min trail.

Quoting CX747 (Reply 18):
Heck, my training C-152s were dinosaurs next to the brand spanking new C-172R/SPs that everyone else was flying. Analoge gauges next to computer screens. With that said, mine went for $60 an hour wet while the latest and greatest rang in at $110.

And yes, you prove your point.

The 'pointy end of the stick' is hugely over budget.

Bad time to just decide to recycle the old stuff just because it's not a Shiny New Jet.

Wedgetail is showing that it's not so easy to sling a new antenna on a new airframe and work out all the gremlins that always come along with working with radio frequencies. One reason they are slinging JT8D-219 engines on the JSTARS frames instead of the more efficient CFM56s is because they don't want to have to chase any RF gremlins caused by the larger nacelles and turbomachinery of the CFMs.
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:06 am

Quoting CX747 (Reply 18):
My information has it that all of the E-8s are ex civilian birds.

Not all; a couple of airframes are ex-Canadian Forces CC-137's; in particular, these are msn 20316.825, 20317.826, 20318.829, and 20319.833.
 
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:27 pm

Quoting CX747 (Reply 18):

What does a new P-8 JSTARS do for the US military that a re-engined E-8 doesn't already bring to the table?

Boeing is trying to pitch the P-8 at the same price as the re-engined E-8. I don't know if this includes maintenance and operation cost. If it doesn't then you have the added bonus of a newer airframe in the 737 with a much larger customer/support base and world wide spares support. From an operation stand-point, the 737 is more fuel efficient.

Also, the 737 frame have been digitized and any mod to the basic frame is much easier accomplished.

Finally, as I think it was mentioned above, the P-8 would have weapon launch capability.

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Devilfish
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:40 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 20):
Bad time to just decide to recycle the old stuff just because it's not a Shiny New Jet.
Quoting bikerthai (Reply 22):
Boeing is trying to pitch the P-8 at the same price as the re-engined E-8. I don't know if this includes maintenance and operation cost. If it doesn't then you have the added bonus of a newer airframe in the 737 with a much larger customer/support base and world wide spares support. From an operation stand-point, the 737 is more fuel efficient.

With yesterday's award of the tanker contract, does anybody see the USAF reverting to the 767 as the platform (not that it has decided to proceed yet)?

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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:10 pm

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 23):
does anybody see the USAF reverting to the 767 as the platform (not that it has decided to proceed yet)?

Using the 767 platform still require significant amount of development work and would not provide immediate result.
The P-8 variant would be less risky and has much of the internal architecture already developed.

I can see the 767 platform as a viable for future development work. But with the current budget constraints, I don't see much money going in to making it reality. By the time the money gets allocated, I would not be surprised if the 777 or 787 become main contenders.

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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:34 pm

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 23):
With yesterday's award of the tanker contract, does anybody see the USAF reverting to the 767 as the platform (not that it has decided to proceed yet)?

Not me.

With the current budget I just don't see the feasibility of an all-new C3I fleet being rolled out.

I see the JSTARS re-engining continuing.

But at 2/month and 179 frames to build, Boeing just added seven and a half years of viability to the 767 frame.

And B787 will probably cause a lot of 767 frames to be parked in the desert.

Who knows?

I guess the bottom line is if the current JSTARS sensor is good enough for the mission, and the engine upgrades give it much better range and/or economics, and presuming the mission package can be upgraded with time, why change things?
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:45 pm

Quoting CX747 (Reply 18):
The last E-8s were delivered in the mid 2000s but that doesn't truly speak to the actual age of the airframes. Does anyone know the overall fleet age? My information has it that all of the E-8s are ex civilian birds. With civilian 707 production ceasing in 1978, that could make the youngest E-8 a sprightly 32 years old.

I have read that the airframes chosen for the E-8 conversion were pretty old and decrepit so they were essentially completely stripped and re-built (part of the reason the costs were high), So they're probably in excellent shape, structurally, as they were effectively "frame-up" restorations.
 
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:07 pm

I think the 737 (P-8) be will be used for many applications now handled by KC135's and retrofitted 707s... they are easy to schedule into a production system, more economical to maintain, and with systems hardware getting smaller the vast spaces of the 767 aren't needed... However both congress and the Military tend to expand equipment installations to fill every inch available whether it's needed or not.. (Congress is the worst of the two because they see it as jobs for constituents... )
 
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:18 pm

It would now make sense to go with the KC-46 airframe, but using the B-767-300ERF lenght. That would make it a C-46B, and you could use the same PW-4063 engines. The C-46B would replace the E-3. A C-46C (B-767-400ERF) would be needed for the expanded E-8 mission. The C-46A (KC-46A airframe) could be used for the E-6 and RC-135 replacement.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:57 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 28):
The C-46B would replace the E-3. A C-46C (B-767-400ERF) would be needed for the expanded E-8 mission. The C-46A (KC-46A airframe) could be used for the E-6 and RC-135 replacement.

The problem with this scenario is that Boeing is putting its future in the 737 airframe to do these function (except tankers) and has sunk much money into the development.

Any additional development of the 767 airframe for these function would diverge from their vision. Of course if the government is funding it, then Boeing would probably not decline 

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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:43 pm

Actually, developing the airframes will not be a major cost factor. The biggest changes would be to the electrical systems, and more powerful engine driven generators, an air refueling receptical, and maybe better brakes as the normal landing weights will be much higher than a commerical airliner of the same model.

Boeing could use the freighter version of the B-767-200/-300/-400 (installing a cargo floor in the B764). The lower deck cargo holds would not be used for fuel tanks, but will become equipment bays for the mission equipment.

It would be the mission equipment developement that would cost a lot. The most likely sub-contractors could be NG, E-Systems, L-3, BAE, etc.
 
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:00 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 30):

It would be the mission equipment developement that would cost a lot.

  

The 737 development has the benefit of a system architecture and mission system layouts brought over from Wedgetail, and improved upon by the P-8A.

The only existing architecture for the 767 would be from the 767 AWACS. I'm not sure how much of that would still be applicable today.

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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:55 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 31):
The only existing architecture for the 767 would be from the 767 AWACS. I'm not sure how much of that would still be applicable today.

The E-10 MC2A program using the 767-400ER airframe would have used a version of the Wedgetail radar for AWACS missions and the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program for JOINT STARS. While the E-10 program never really went anywhere, they at least drew up plans for a technology simulator (hence the 767-400ER ordered by the USAF that was eventually delivered as a 767 VIP). So with Wedgetail and Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program moving into service (the latter on the RQ-4B Global Hawk) and the 767 joining USAF service as the KC-46, there might be a justification to use the KC-46 as a platform to replace the E-3, E-6 and E-8 platforms in the future.
 
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:51 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 32):
While the E-10 program never really went anywhere,

Also true. While the E-10 program looked into many aspect of the system. Allot of those concepts were "wish list" type scenarios that still require lots of development and detailed design work to bring to fruition.

With the current budget situation, I am dubious on whether there would be stomach for all the bells and whistle being looked at by the E-10A.

Still, the 767 do provide a larger platform (for larger radar and volume for mission equipment) that the 737 can not compete with. But you might be able to field 3 737 variant for every 2 767 in terms of cost. (Just pulling numbers out of my    )

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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:55 am

really, how can a 737 replace an 707. An 707 is design fly polar routes, a 737NG could maybe do Trans Atlantic, and that extra range a 707 gives, is going to be needed in the air, so come on now, let's make since, a 767-400ER is a good replacement for Jstars.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:53 pm

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 34):
An 707 is design fly polar routes, a 737NG could maybe do Trans Atlantic

737NG can do Trans Atlantic . . . in an all Business Class configuration  

The P-8A a range of 1,200 nmi (2,222 km) with 4 hours on station. This can be extended with aerial refueling. Oh, by the way, the P-8 variant can retain the wing pod (bomb bay may be removed to improve weight and range) - So not only can you see 'em, you can take 'em out too.  
Quoting 747400sp (Reply 34):
a 767-400ER is a good replacement for Jstars.

The 767-400 would only be good if they need the extra length for a longer radar/canoe. Its cost would be reasonable if FX decide to buy a bunch of -400F. Otherwise, go with a smaller canoe and stick with the -200 (tanker frame).

bikerthai
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Devilfish
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:23 am

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 33):
With the current budget situation, I am dubious on whether there would be stomach for all the bells and whistle being looked at by the E-10A.

Update:

Boeing is trying mightily to convince the USAF into buying their proposed EP-8 AGS variant by volunteering shocking cost estimates to upgrade the E-8Cs.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...grades-may-cost-10-15-billion.html

Quote:
"Boeing has escalated a campaign to persuade the US Air Force to replace the Northrop Grumman E-8C joint surveillance target attack radar system (Joint STARS), warning that actual costs to modernise the 707-based surveillance fleet may exceed official estimates by up to five times.

Boeing's analysis of the cost to upgrade the E-8C with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) sensor, new engines, wide-band communications, modern avionics and a self-protection system, ranges between $10-$15 billion, said Egan Greensteing, a Boeing senior manager for business development.

That number compares to a $2.9 billion estimate developed jointly by the USAF and Northrop, which includes a 'radar technology refresh', a communication network upgrade, a self-defence suite and cheek radar arrays."



Now... how upgrades, technology insertion and re-engine for the current JSTARS could amount to almost three times what they say 17 brand-new, complete P-8A AGS airframes and systems would cost may require novel mathematics... however, that might not be taking into account the usual scope creep and cost escalation that plague major acquisition programs lately.               
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:32 pm

Quoting Devilfish (Reply 36):

Now... how upgrades, technology insertion and re-engine for the current JSTARS could amount to almost three times what they say 17 brand-new, complete P-8A AGS airframes and systems would cost may require novel

Chapter one:

I don't think the JSTARS fleet had a common airfame block (just guessing . . . someone will have to look at the tail numbers and list the production dates). This makes it enormously difficult to do "common mod" because the structures can be different for each frame (specially for frames built before CAD/CAM).

Chapter two:

Engines are typically 1/4 the cost of an airframe. 4 new engines per frames are much more expensive than 2. As for the two, you can get them at bulk quantity discount.

Chapter three:

Commonality with the P-8A on some of the mission equipment will save money on development cost. (Instead of designing new cabinets and consoles . . . and the certification there-off).

Sorry, I'm not a novelist. I just do short stories . . .  

Never done it my self, but re-building 17 70' Corvettes is probably gonna be more expensive than getting 17 bran new new Mustangs. Specially if you're going to have to get new engines and trannies.

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bikerthai
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:01 pm

Oh, I forgot about the epilogue.

(Thanks to my friend who works Wiring).

Stripping out the old wiring and re-routing new ones is a real pain.

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Devilfish
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:05 pm

The question then becomes - "Except for the person being quoted, what else had changed in the last four months which caused the cost they provided to jump two to three times as much?"           
Quoting bikerthai (Reply 13):

"Jim Eisenhart, Boeing's senior business development manager for airborne warning systems, said last month that a new fleet of 17 weaponized, 737-based aerial ground surveillance (AGS) planes with a next-generation radar would cost the Pentagon $5.5 billion. Eisenhart noted that it would cost approximately as much to modernize the E-8 fleet with new engines and avionics."
Quoting Devilfish (Reply 36):
Boeing's analysis of the cost to upgrade the E-8C with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) sensor, new engines, wide-band communications, modern avionics and a self-protection system, ranges between $10-$15 billion, said Egan Greensteing, a Boeing senior manager for business development.


[Edited 2011-06-13 08:27:13]
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bikerthai
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:29 pm

Check here for the latest PR video on the Boeing Platform.

http://boeing.com/defense-space/military/p8ags/index.html

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Devilfish
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:11 pm

Very cool!    Thanks for that.

I wonder how long it would be before Hollywood comes up with another movie based on those?   
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Flighty
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:34 pm

I would suggest using Embraer or another more reputable contractor. Boeing should not be eligible IMO
 
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par13del
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:22 am

The only major problem that I see with the 737 frame is the military inbuilt genetics of mission creep, whatever else they can get loaded on a new a/c they will load, and the 737 frame does not have much additional room, at least in width.
The US Army selected an off the shelf utility helicopter, knowning all it specifications, but the electronics / avionics loaded required more air conditioning than the engine could handle so an engine upgrade is on the way, next we hear that its going to be armed, I'm betting the same will happen to the P8 once deployed in sufficient numbers.
 
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:20 am

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 40):
Check here for the latest PR video on the Boeing Platform.

It is sad to see that we have to use so much expensive asset to take out a few barbarians. Can we really afford such kind of asymmetric war?

Would it be cheaper to send a bunch of high flying balloons that can loiter for a long time and drop a JDAM when needed? Even the lost Libyan SAMs cannot reach them  
 
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par13del
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:18 pm

Quoting cosmofly (Reply 44):
It is sad to see that we have to use so much expensive asset to take out a few barbarians. Can we really afford such kind of asymmetric war?

Methinks you are looking at the wrong cost, how much do the projects contribute to the bottom line of the developing companies, how many jobs did they create, in which political district, how long were the able to amortize the programs on the books?
Defense spending is huge, unfortunately, a lot of folks only look at the end product as being what the spending is all about. Example, if a company is able to build one product to do the job of 3 at the same cost, the profit and savings are enormous, less workers and their benefits, less plants, less politicians to deal with, higher profit margins, etc. etc. etc.
Ever wonder why in this age of high tech and massive computers it still takes years and billions to get a new product to market, imagine how much better the U2 and SR71 would have been if they were built in the age of computers versus slide rules.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Boeing Proposes EP-8 To Replace Jstars

Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:42 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 43):
The only major problem that I see with the 737 frame is the military inbuilt genetics of mission creep, whatever else they can get loaded on a new a/c they will load, and the 737 frame does not have much additional room, at least in width.

Sounds like you want to put bomb bay doors and hard points on a 767 . . . or perhaps a 777   

Quoting cosmofly (Reply 44):

It is sad to see that we have to use so much expensive asset to take out a few barbarians.

Cheaper than using a B-1or B-2 and uses much less gas than a B-52.  

Oh, did anyone noticed that these barbarians have M-60 tanks?   

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