Procurement: July 23, 2000

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The Air Force canceled plans to upgrade its E-8 JSTARS ground surveillance radar planes due to the high cost of the F-22 program. Publicly, the Air Force said that it wanted to field a new generation of cheaper and more effective radar planes. (Army officials complained that Air Force budget cuts always seem to affect systems designed to support the Army.) Raytheon and Grumman both claim to have new versions of radar systems that could be much cheaper, but neither has all of the problems solved. The Pentagon was trying to negotiate a deal under which the two companies would cooperate on a new radar design, but this floundered when neither company would give up its secrets. The Pentagon is now expected to order the Air Force to deliver a plan by year's end to upgrade the E-8 force or replace it. The Air Force plans to create a board of experts who will study the question.--Stephen V Cole


 


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