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Pentagon Says Surveillance System Falls Short

November 14, 1998|Bloomberg News

Northrop Grumman Corp. and Motorola Inc. failed to meet performance specifications for the main surveillance system used by the U.S. military to track the movement of enemy troops. The system, which combines an aircraft and airborne electronics with a Motorola radar-reception vehicle, is known as JSTARS (or Joint Surveillance and Targeting Radar System). JSTARS "performed poorly in supporting surveillance and target attack missions," Pentagon Director of Operational Testing Philip Coyle said in an Oct. 6 report. The results raise the risk that Motorola could fail to win an Army contract worth as much as $150 million for 40 ground stations. For Northrop, the tests are unlikely to prevent future Air Force purchases of the $250-million aircraft and system. The Army, Air Force, Northrop Grumman and Motorola slammed the findings, stressing that JSTARS has drawn praise from military pilots and soldiers. Shares of Century City-based Northrop Grumman rose $1 to close at $81.19, while Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola's stock rose $1.56 to close at $55, both on the New York Stock Exchange. The Pentagon report was released after markets closed.

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