CEC: Cooperative Engagement for Fleet Defense
DOT&E testing report very negative re: the E-2D aircraft’s new CEC system; Engineering services contract.
Jan 28/14: DOT&E Testing Report. The Pentagon releases the FY 2013 Annual Report from its Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E). CEC is included, but the entry focuses on the USG-3B module used in E-2D naval AWACS aircraft. Bottom line: it’s worse than the USG-3 carried by its E-2C predecessors. UGS-3B is operationally suitable (maintainable), but not operationally effective.
Key problems include misalignments that make it hard to depend on consistent object tracking between platforms – which is CEC’s core purpose. In a similar vein, the system has an issue with dual tracks for single objects that’s well above normal. There are also integration problems with the mission computer, and EM interference problems that affect the radar altimeter. The problems were persistent enough that the Navy decoupled CEC testing from the E-2D’s own IOT&E evaluation as a new platform.
Nov 25/13: A $7.1 million contract modification exercises options for CEC engineering services. $1.9 million is committed immediately, from a wide variety of Navy budgets. Work will be performed in St. Petersburg, FL, and is expected to be complete by September 2014 (N00024-13-C-5212).
There are 4 major U.S. Navy variants of CEC:
AN/USG-2A CEC. Mounted in selected Aegis cruisers and destroyers, LPD-17/LHD amphibious ships, and CVN-68 class aircraft carriers.
AN/USG-2B CEC. This improved shipborne version is used in some refitted and new Aegis ships: Ticonderoga Class cruisers and Arleigh Burke Class destroyers.
AN/USG-3 CEC. In the air, this variant is carried aboard Navy E-2C/D Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft. The E-2C Hawkeye 2000 carries the USG-3, while the E-2D carries the USG-3B variant. On land, the UGS-3 used to integrate high-value assets like Patriot or THAAD missile radars, JLENS aerostat blimps, etc.
AN/USG-4 CEC. This variant is designed for the USMC CTN. CTN involves CEC equipment on a mobile HMMWV, with an extensible CEC antenna for transmission. It integrates into the USMC Command and Control system, and allows transmissions to the fleet from USMC assets like the AN/TPS-59 long range radars.
Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) is the US Navy’s secret weapon. Actually, it’s not so secret. It’s just that its relatively low price means often leads people to overlook the revolutionary change it creates for wide-area fleet air and ballistic missile defense.
CEC is far more than a mere data-sharing program, or even a sensor fusion effort. The concept behind CEC is a sensor netting system that allows ships, aircraft, and even land radars to pool their radar and sensor information together, creating a very powerful and detailed picture that’s much finer, more wide-ranging, and more consistent than any one of them could generate on its own. The data is then shared among all ships and participating systems, using secure frequencies. It’s a simple premise, but a difficult technical feat. With huge implications.
This DID FOCUS Article explains those mechanics and implications. It will also track ongoing research, updates, and contracts related to CEC capabilities from 2000 forward.
Co-operative Engagement Capability: How It Works
The CEC System
Why CEC Really is a Game Changer
CEC: Contracts and Key Events: 2000 – Present
FY 2012 – 2013
FY 2009 – 2011
FY 2006 – 2008
FY 2004 – 2005
FY 2000 – 2003
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