USAF Readies New Air Defense System In Iraq

December 23rd, 2007  

Topic: USAF Readies New Air Defense System In Iraq

USAF Readies New Air Defense System In Iraq

Dec 19, 2007
By Michael Fabey/Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
Reader's Note: This is the first in an exclusive series of articles running this week that will piece together the history and costs of recent U.S. Air Force efforts to safeguard the skies.
For more than a decade, the U.S. Air Force has been trying to fund and field a modern mobile air defense system to secure battle zone skies. Such a command and control (C2) system is considered to vital to safe and successful tactical air operations at home and abroad.
As this year closes, the Pentagon is deploying just such a new mobile system to Iraq - the Battle Control Center CENTAF (BC3) - to replace the outdated system currently there. That new $30 million system is being administered by the Army, with the Air Force providing funding (See related chart p. 7).
Not that the Air Force has forsaken the mission of securing airspace. Indeed, the service's price tag for its own mobile system effort, known as the Battle Control System-Mobile (BCS-M) - could reach hundreds of millions of dollars, according to interviews with Air Force officials, program documents and other records obtained by Aerospace Daily under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
But despite the investments made in BCS-M, when the Pentagon needed to replace its old, unreliable and unsafe system in Iraq, it found another at a fraction of the cost and time.
Interim system

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