In 2003, the Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and Raytheon MC2A Team was awarded a $215 million pre-SDD (System Development and Demonstration) contract for the development of the aircraft.
While the Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint STARS aircraft are a recent development, they will be the last such type to be based on the 707. Installing the high technology systems envisaged for the MC2A on an increasingly obsolete airframe would not provide the capability required. The availability of powerful and reliable turbofans allowed a twinjet to be considered.
MC2A stands for Multi-Sensor Command and Control Aircraft. The MC2A was intended to be the ultimate theater-wide combat control center.
In August 2003 Air International reported that the goal of integrating air- and ground-radars on a single airframe was abandoned. Electronic interference between the AESA and ground-surveillance radars as well as the power requirements for both systems were cited as the reason. Instead the USAF decided to plan two separate E-10 fleets to be integrated with the proposed Space-Based Radar system, air and space-based ELINT/SIGINT assets,... Read More