Last October, the Royal Australian Air Force purchased seven JSECST
units to be used with its Hornets.
The mission of JSECST is to provide go/no go testing and diagnostics on RF-based EW systems - radar warning receivers and jammers - carried mainly by fighter aircraft.
According to USAF Maj Alan Brookshire, the program manager for JSECST, the critical design review held this summer revealed an "open item," an RF modulator awarded to a company that's no longer in business, that could delay the program six months to a year, slipping the planned production start in 1999.
When it does emerge from the production line, JSECST will embody profound capability in a very demure package.
The JSECST effort has its origins in a pair of flight-line test programs from the early part of this decade.
In fact, even with the JSECST program underway, the -406 production lines remain busy; Sanders recently received a $12.5 million award for an additional 13 systems as part of a Foreign Military Sales deal that includes Malaysia, Switzerland and Spain.
Industry sources expect a draft request for proposals (RFP) in the next few weeks for the Joint Services Electronic Combat System Tester (JSECST) from the acquisition authority, the ASC/LNAJ of fice at Wright-Patterson AFB.
While the exact parameters of the JSECST remain in question until the release of the RFP, LTCDR Tom Hamman, who leads the Navy's end of the program at PMA-260, said he expects a small (approximately 8 ft3), modular system.