The USA’s E-6 Fleet: Take Charge, And Move Out!
April 2/19: Block II The Navy contracted Rockwell Collins $14.8 million for support of the E-6B Mercury aircraft. The deal is for non-recurring engineering for development of the facilities, equipment, and material required to implement the Block II Sustainment and Support System. The E-6B is the modified version of the E-6 Mercury. The command post and communications relay aircraft relays communications for ballistic missile submarine forces and provides airborne command and control for strategic forces. The Navy introduced the E-6 to replace its EC-130Q aircraft. The E-6 is equipped with advanced communications and command and control systems. In November 2017, Rockwell Collins won a deal to upgrade the Mercury’s communication system and to exercise an option for the installation of Block I/Internet Protocol Bandwidth Expansion Phase 3/Block IA Very Low Transmit Terminal/Nuclear Planning and Execution System kit on one E-6B aircraft. Work for the Block II delivery order will take place in Richardson, Texas and is scheduled to be finished in December next year.
The USA’s E-6 Mercury (aka. TACAMO, as in TAke Charge And Move Out) “survivable airborne communication system” airplanes support their Navy’s SSBN ballistic missile submarine force and overall strategic forces. With the advent of the new “Tactical Trident” converted Ohio Class special operations subs, their unique capabilities become even more useful. The E-6B version also has a secondary role as a “Looking Glass” Airborne National Command Post, and in recent years they have seen use as communications relay stations over the front lines of combat.
Delivery of the first production E-6 aircraft took place in August 1989, with delivery of the 16th and final airplane coming in May 1992. This is DID’s FOCUS Article concerning the E-6 system, which includes details concerning the capabilities and associated contracts. The latest contracts involve important fleet upgrades, as the Navy tries to drag the jet’s systems into the 21st century.
E-6 Mercury: Messenger from On High
E-6B Upgrade Efforts
E-6 Mercury: Contracts and Key Events
FY 2013 – 2019
FY 2011 – 2012
FY 2009 – 2010
FY 2007 – 2008
FY 1990 – 2006
Other National Command Jets
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