Star cluster. Plane distant surveillance and target E-8 J-STARS

The success of the German Blitzkrieg was in almost all parts of the defined skillful management Wehrmacht oiled and efficient interaction between the various branches of the military. In the end, the beginning of the second world the German army for the decade exceeded his enemy on aspects such as the quality of communications, targeting and command and control. Both technically and organizationally.

The successful strategy of "battle groups", created from divisions of the Wehrmacht depending on the intended purpose; widespread use radio — even outdated wedgies T-I in the order of mandatory equipped with VHF radiopremnikom (to other German tanks, starting with a light T-II, has put a full-featured radio station ) finally adopted such trivial, and at the same time, excellent measures as air traffic controllers-spotters Luftwaffe in tank battalions!

All of these blanks are great for saving time advancing Wehrmacht (and otymali precious days of the enemy), allowing the German command to quickly solve any difficulties, make the right decisions and constructively to reduce the loss of their own troops, at once, inflicting the most damage.

In today's high-quality criteria of intelligence, continuous communication and a clear target information at the heart of at least some of the military operation. The last war in Iraq and Yugoslavia, have shown the effectiveness of this strategy — fighting over the area to create a strong "information dome", inside which controls all movement and radio communications enemies, allowing them to plan in advance to open and select a priority objective. Awful result is obvious: the face of the Earth erased entire countries for individual losses from the NATO democratizers.

To form an invisible "information domes" are used as global satellite reconnaissance, and air assets: manned and unmanned scouts, AWACS aircraft, means of electronic intelligence, repeaters and airborne command posts … Great been established smooth communication and back — orders from the Pentagon can be brought directly to the individual soldier in real time.

Just surprisingly, success as major surgery, in which thousands of units involved personnel and hundreds of pieces of equipment, often depend entirely unremarkable at first glance, the reasons which, in the end, are crucial in preparing and carrying out at least some military operation. Specifically, such factors include the plane distant target designation system of E-8 Joint STARS.

The all-seeing eye of the U.S. Army

E-8 Joint STARS (Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System) — aircraft complex remote monitoring and targeting systems designed to identify and systematize ground targets at any time of the day in all weather criteria, to coordinate military operations and two-way communication with ground forces in real time. Scout and air command post in one person.

In technical terms, E-8 is an interpretation of an old passenger Boeing 707 jumbo jet with a completely modified inner assembly and ventral 8-foot gondola, which is hidden in a functional AN/APY-3 radar with a phased antenna array. Plane E-8 is the same record-breaking flight characteristics, it is not designed to conduct air combat and often conducts surveillance, even going into a war zone and not being exposed to the threat of being shot down from the ground.

E-8 Joint STARS with personal naming of "Eye in the Sky" (eye in the sky)

The main performance characteristics of E-8 Joint STARS

Empty weight — 77 tons

Mass max. Take-off — 152 m,

— Standard: 3 pilots, about 18 operators and officers of command and control,
— for long missions: 6 pilots, 28 operators and officers of command and control,

Cruising speed — 0.84 M

Ceiling — 13,000 m,

Duration of Tour:
— 9 hours without refueling,
— with refueling up to 20 hours,

Unit price of $ 225-240 million for 1998.

According disk imaging developer (of Nortrop Grumman), a standard sortie E-8 "G-Stars" takes place on a subsequent scenario: plane leisurely loitering at a distance of 200-250 km from the combat zone. Ventral synthetic aperture radar (in other words, special radar for mapping and search purposes against the ground) scans course corners underlying terrain, with all this, the beam width is 120 °, and the area covered by the radar can reach 50 thousand square meters. km the earth's surface! Total radar has 5 main operating modes: wide survey, mapping, search motionless objects, search for moving objects in the Doppler mode, and the determination of their routes, ordering purposes.

Also on board is MS-177 camera for visual observation of the object of interest in real-time. The intelligence system is capable of automatically find, organize, and take the support of up to 600 point-ground targets (armor, vehicles, stationary objects).

Izoobrazhenie site, is acquired with the E-8

After receiving all the necessary information about the deployment of ground forces of the enemy and the location of units of its own army, operators need to evaluate the situation, find the direction of impact and reveal the plan of the enemy. All the necessary information can be transferred to the commanders of ground units in real time (right up to each individual tank). One can imagine that the 18 officers on board, "Gee Stars" playing an exciting computer game where instead of the virtual "tanks" on the battlefield go real fighting machine with the crews of the living.

Obviously, the crew did not have the capacity to fully influence the course of the local war — on the other, confusing button on the keyboard "to" the button "n", you can send troops to the case instead of Iraq to Iran. But all the same, the competence of these professionals comes to coordination of ground forces, providing them with advice, intelligence and warning about possible dangers — for example, on the nomination of their party in the enemy tank column.

It is necessary to see that the E-8 — one of the components of the "Gee Stars", where, except for aircraft remote surveillance and target acquisition, includes military ground-based electronic intelligence and unmanned reconnaissance drones.

"Sergeant, where's the button" get out of the game? "

Championship on computer games

Despite its seeming fantastic and extremely sophisticated methods of work, "Gee Stars" in fact completely the old design, leading its history back to 1982, when the dreams of the U.S. Army and Air Force to develop a plane distant target acquisition and management of ground troops finally entered a phase of meaningful project. First E-8 "G-Stars" took off exactly 24 years back — December 22, 1988. And three years later — in January 1991, two aircraft, "Gee Stars" took part in the Gulf War, operating from air bases in Saudi Arabia. Naturally, in the criteria for wilderness, they have proved themselves perfectly — 49 sorties, 500 hours of patrol on the front line.

Follow-up time, "Gee Stars" appeared in the sky over the Balkans in 1995. 95 sorties to patrol. Took part in the NATO war against Yugoslavia, provided the invasion of Iraq (2003) — 1,000 combat sorties. On request, the United Nations' Ji-Stars "not once been used to monitor the situation in North Korea, from time t
o time used over Afghanistan.
The latter — the 17th in a row — "Gee Stars" was accepted into the Air Force in 2005. For more than 20 years of operation has not been lost no machine of this type. Americans lead follow-up data on their operational implementation: in the period from 2001 to 2011. "Gee Stars" made 5200 sorties on patrol in various parts of the globe, with over 10 years of 63,000 total flight hours.

That's such an unusual car, the real "cloak and dagger" behind the scenes TV news in all of this is not just playing a major role in military operations.

Perhaps you had a question: whether there is the Russian equivalent of "G-Stars"? Hard to directly answer this question — on the one hand, as part of the Russian Air Force since the late 60's flying aircraft electronic intelligence and electronic warfare IL-20 (both not hard to guess — based on the famous turboprop passenger Airbus IL-18), as airborne command posts IL-22 (another version of the Il-18) and the current ACP IL-80 (on the basis of a wide-bodied passenger aircraft Sludge-86). On the other hand, none of these aircraft is not like "G-Stars": Il-20, morally and physically obsolete, and the new IL-80 does just the role of air command Fri (designed for the coordination of forces in the event of nuclear war) .

Airborne command post IL-80. First flight — 1992 Line up 4 boards.
According to some reports, all ACP IL-80 are part of a separate squadron control and retransmission Air Division 8 special purpose. Aircraft based at the airfield constantly Chkalovskiy. Any additional information on these machines is closed.

We should also mention the Tu-214R — aircraft electronic and opto-electronic reconnaissance with 2 radar radial and lateral view (to be put into service in the next year). This is the "bird" was seen over the Sea of Japan, first in December 2012.
In the end, the new TU-214ON — "open sky". Special aviation aircraft observations, specially made in the international Dogovra the Open Skies for flights in the airspace of the participating countries of the contract. The structure of complex airborne surveillance aircraft comes to side-looking radar, infrared cameras and equipment for aerial photography. There are jobs for 5 operators.

But all is not what a lot of recalls battle plane distant target acquisition and management of E-8. And who knows, maybe while you are reading this text, in your window with a keen enthusiasm drop the camera plane "G-Stars" hovering near the Russian border.

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