Military News

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Update: JSTARS Recap moves to next phase

by Justin Oakes
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

5/12/2015 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- A senior Department of Defense official signed a key acquisition memo May 7 that will allow the Joint STARS Recapitalization program office here to begin awarding contracts.

Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, signed a Materiel Development Decision Acquisition Decision Memo officially ushering the program into the Materiel Solution Analysis phase.

JSTARS Recapitalization will replace the aging fleet of specialized, E-8C reconnaissance aircraft, which have flown more than 13 years in continuous overseas operations and accumulated more than 100,000 combat flight hours.

The new JSTARS weapon system will be comprised of four integrated components including: a business-class, commercial-derivative aircraft; radar subsystem; a communication subsystem; and an integrated battle management command and control suite.

With the memo signed, JSTARS Recap officials are able to release and competitively award up to three firm, fixed-price contracts in support of pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Development risk reduction. The contracts will be specifically focused on refining requirements, identifying costs and reducing top risks.

"This activity is a significant move toward assessing subsystem technology maturity, reducing weapon system engineering, reducing risk and lowering life cycle cost by design," said Col. Mike Harm, acting JSTARS Recap senior materiel leader.

On May 8, Recap officials issued a request for quotation to contractors identified by earlier analysis, in an effort to communicate their pre-EMD requirements; responses to the RFQ will include a technical proposal as well as an official bid.

The pre-EMD risk reduction contract, or contracts, will entail a base period for completing initial requirements analysis, which includes a full system requirements review, technical reports and analysis and an option period to complete a system functional review, preliminary design review and subsystem prototype demonstrations.

However, the decision to exercise the contract option is contingent upon a successful Milestone A review. The purpose of a Milestone A review is to make a recommendation or seek approval before entering the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction phase.

"This is one of the Air Force's top acquisition priorities, and we're motivated and extremely pleased to be moving forward," Harm said.

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