US Air Force is launching a next-generation airborne surveillance and command and control technology intended to successfully synchronize air, ground, drone and satellite assets onto a single seamless network. Advanced Battle Management and Surveillance (ABMS) Program in a way will be directly replacing aging E-8C JSTARS (Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System platform ) fleet in near future.

Like an AWACS which is deployed to carry out Aerial Surveillance within its own space to track and provide advance warning of enemy aerial formations within its range, E-8C JSTARS have been used by US Air Force do exactly the same but to look at the enemy territories and its troops on the ground.

E-8C JSTARS used by US Air Force are usually tasked to scan terrain across the geographically diverse areas for actionable intelligence and pertinent enemy activity on the ground. E-8C JSTARS has abilities to track ground vehicles and some aircraft, collect imagery, and relays tactical pictures to ground and air theater commanders.

The E-8’s ground-moving radar can tell an approximate number of vehicles, location, speed, and direction of travel. It cannot identify exactly what type of vehicle a target is, tells what equipment it has. E-8 have been largely deployed to track enemy formation like tanks and missiles and can also track moving mobile attack vehicles like Surface to Air Systems.

E-8C JSTARS will soon be replaced by a much more capable system under the Advanced Battle Management and Surveillance (ABMS) Program, Indian Air Force is very keen on getting its hands on such system and has interacted with US Air Force officials to know more about the system.

While the technologies involved and the aircraft on which this system will be mounted is still not available, Indian Air Force has shown great intend to deploy battlefield management command and control in the multi-domain environment in near future even though the system in question is still few years from being available.

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