Beyond the Iron Triad: The Future of Airborne C2ISR

Today, the US Air Force’s “Big Wing” C2 and ISR aircraft provide critical situational awareness of air and surface activity, as well as adversary intentions across the spectrum of conflict. The three in-demand assets that make up what is known as the “Iron Triad” are the E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS), and the RC-135V/W Rivet Joint electronic and signals intelligence gathering aircraft.

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