Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Joint STARS Engines Complete FAA Certification Flights

Joint STARS Engines Complete FAA Certification Flights

MELBOURNE, Fla., Oct. 22, 2008 -- The U.S. Air Force E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) engine upgrade program reached a major milestone last week after successfully completing Federal Aviation Administration supplemental type certification flights. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will now install the Pratt & Whitney (NYSE:UTX) JT8D-219 engines on the Joint STARS test bed aircraft in advance of military certification test flights scheduled to begin in December.

Joint STARS is a modified commercial aircraft that detects, locates, classifies, tracks and targets hostile ground movements, communicating real-time information through secure data links.

"The new engines bring tremendous benefits to the fleet including increased efficiencies and enhanced operational capability," said Tom Vice, Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems sector's Eastern Region sector vice president. "They have more power, are more fuel efficient and reduce costs and maintenance downtime. They also allow the aircraft to climb faster and fly higher, increasing surveillance capabilities. The new engines require fewer in-flight re-fuelings, enabling the Joint STARS crews to spend more time on station and thereby provide more surveillance for our troops on the ground."

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