Embraer Could Offer One of Its Business Jets To Replace E-8 JSTARS

SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, BRAZIL — Embraer officials today said they are interested in offering up one of their business jets as a replacement for the E-8 JSTARS ground surveillance fleet, should the U.S. Air Force decide that it wants to replace the 707-based E-8s with a smaller fleet of business jets for the ground scanning radar mission.

“We are looking at all opportunities that may arise in the U.S. and for this kind of program we not only have the ERJ 145 but we have larger airplanes like the Embraer 170 and 190 as options in terms of platforms to explore in certain kinds of missions” like that the one currently done by the E-8, Fernando Ikedo, director of market intelligence for Embraer’s defense division said today during a very cool tour of the company’s headquarters here.

Just last week we wrote how Air Force officials recently said they’re considering business jets, 737-based aircraft and UAVs as possible alternatives to continuing to use re-engined versions of the aging E-8 fleet.

“Our product was” originally chosen for the Army’s Aerial Common Sensor ground surveillance radar system, “so we have good solutions that can be used for that kind of application and we’re always willing and open to serving the U.S. market, of course,” added Acir Padilha, director of marketing and sales for Embraer’s military division.

Padilha went on to say that Embraer could partner with U.S. defense companies to build an aircraft with classified military parts, if needed.

The company already makes ground scanning radar jets based off it’s ERJ 145.

  • Davis

    That picture really thew my depth perception out the window.

  • Christopher Bloom

    Thank God I thought I was having a stroke or something I’m not the only one yea me.

    • Nicholas Mcdonald


  • Dave Barnes

    Why is the article about E-8s and the photo is of a Sentinel R1?

    • FormerDirtDart

      It is not a Sentinel R1, it is an Embraer R99B. And the article is about replacements for the E-8s, such as Embraer’s offering similar aircraft to the R99B

  • Jeff Hagen

    It still looks crashed by the river in Tiny Town to me. What is wrong with it - too much depth of field?

    • mike j

      Yes, it’s the DoF and also the composition of the image with the aircraft paralleling the river, dark areas (trees) that are about where shadows would fall, and the reflections of trees in the water (particularly that one under the nose) tend to join the background with the plane. - I do some photography.

      • asdf

        what exactly is wrong with this pic? except that it looks like the plane landed.
        mike, can you post more examples of similar photography or at least tell, how can we find it?

        • mike j

          Search “photographic composition” in google and you’ll get some articles.

          Obviously, a photo is 2D representing 3D. The viewer needs cues to put the subject in context, and a good photographer will play with those cues and alter perceptions. This ‘tog’ unintentionally gave us all the wrong cues.

          The background is crystal clear, so we have no indication of depth. The plane is dead center, left/right and top/bottom; there’s nothing indicating motion. No part of the plane overlaps the river, so we can’t tell which is closer. The trees visible underneath the plane on the far bank outline the belly creating a shadow effect, and our brains try to interpret that as a “merge.” “Guy holds up Leaning Tower of Pisa” is an intentional merge. The only visual cue that the plane is NOT on the bank is its lack of reflection in the river. The mind starts flip-flopping between interpretations, similar to the “vase or faces” or “Necker cube” illusions. We know it’s really flying but almost everything else says it’s in the dirt.


          • asdf

            a lot yes.
            i actually thought from the start, that it landed, but it seemed strange anyway.

          • mike j

            Just want to add, I’m sure this photo was never intended to be this squashed down. At full resolution, you’d see all kinds of fine detail on the plane that would pull it to the front. The color of the plane works against it, also; color stands out, gray fades back. No photographer likes having their work mangled by the interwebs, and it’s not really fair of me to critique a mangled photo.

        • mike j

          Here’s some decent info that ought to appeal to the readership, unless you have something against the squids:


  • SMSgtMac

    After poking around online and prodding some friends/associates on the E-8 history I’ve come to the following conclusions:
    1. If it is a matter of transplanting the E-8 gear to another airframe, it’s not going ot be a smaller one.
    2. If a 737 is being considered, it wouldn’t be the first time, and again, if the same radar will be transplanted to the 737 or most other low-wing high-bypass turbofan airliner airframes, it will be very expensive. (and I’m deducing the E-8 didn’t get the CFM56s in the rengine effort for the same reasons.)
    3. The E-8’s flight profile is optimal for the systems carried. Flying higher or lower will result in lower system effectivity. If they’re looking at higher fliers, thier changing the onboard systems.
    4. If a different technical approach is used, its anybody’s guess what platform/systems combinations could be picked -it is and open field right now.
    How the E-8 ended up in a 707 and used airframes to boot is far more interesting than I ever suspected.
    We now return you to the Aerial Photography Club Forum…….

  • anon1

    Downside of using a business jet (non-airliner) is that its not as future proof due its size. Upside is that many are off the shelf.

  • jamesb101

    Well the picture DOES look like the plane is seating in the grass…….

  • Mike

    Using a larger Boeing aircraft would have some benefits especially if you equipped the aircraft with mid-air refueling as you could have multiple crews on board and this would allow your eye in the sky to be like a UAV and airborne for extended periods of time.

  • Will

    These aren’t “business jets” - those are airplanes that are primarily owned by large companies to fly their own people & stuff around. These are airliners, for routes that are too small for a 737-600 or an A318. The main competitor for Embraer is Bombardier (Canada), who will make a pitch too, if they haven’t already.

    • mike j

      There are several Gulfstream models and a couple from Dassault that are in this size class. We have G Vs and G550s in service as the C-37A/B, and the Israelis have modified G550s for several roles, notably AEW and jamming. The newer G650 is even larger/ faster/ longer-legged. Regional airliners are just “business jets” with overstuffed cabins.

  • Mastro

    Have them compete with Raytheon/Bombadier. Keep costs down for once.

  • Rick

    Here we go again, don’t they ever learn? What do you bet that the Air Force will stink this purchase up highly just like they’ve done with the new tanker.

  • John Moore

    I think even Iran does a better job with photoshoping images are we getting that bad now?

  • William C.

    I can certainly see the benefits of such a smaller aircraft, but with all of the extra room the E-8 has I’m sure they’ve jammed some things inside they couldn’t fit in one of these.

  • Oblat

    >Air Force officials recently said they’re considering business jets, 737-based aircraft and UAVs as possible alternatives to continuing to use re-engined versions of the aging E-8 fleet.

    Yep the air-force is looking at anything that is not a 767.

  • Shail

    Lord knows we can’t be having any of this nonsense!

    If we can’t have supposedly-not-Made-In-USA tankers for the USAF,
    we sure as hell shouldn’t allow other not-Made-In-USA airframes to compete in American military programs (so no Embraers from Brazil and no Bombardiers from Canada!).

    While we’re at it, let’s damn them Eurocopter folks and their Lakota, and sink money into an inferior Bell-Boeing helicopter instead.

    It doesn’t matter if these foreign companies can provide more modern and cost effective aircraft that , with new technologies, can do the job of aircraft 2 decades or more older.
    This is about American jobs, dammit.
    For American citizens, at American defense industrial giants.

    (s/ off)

    (see how childish that all sounds?
    Where’s all you Boeing jockstraps to spit vitriol at these foreign offerings, and jump on the 737-800 JSTARS bandwagon?)

  • jamesb101

    You guys might want to check this out……
    Go over to Aviation Week and check the piece on the EMB-145’s for India…
    Where ther’s a will there’s a way…..
    Evberyone keep pushing for the ‘Big Bird’ assets that will never see the light of day due to cost overruns……

    And I hope they decide on the A-330..at least the darn plane is flying and ain’t a concept in a computer!

  • Kevrell

    3srf2B I’m not easily impressed. . . but that’s impressing me! :)

  • bjwesgpeo

    ZUnE2T qscisvdmsbro