The USA’s E-6 Fleet: TAke Charge, And Move Out!
Feb 25/14: New dome? The Aviationist passes along an interesting observation:
“On Feb. 14, Military Radio Comms Expert Allan Stern took a photograph of E-6B TACAMO 164407 landing at Patrick Air Force Base and several people noticed that there is a new dome on the aircraft, clearly visible before the tail.”
It’s about the same size as wifi antennas on commercial passenger jets, but that doesn’t tell us much. Until there’s an official explanation, the mystery continues. Sources & picture: The Aviationist, “E-6B Mercury “Doomsday plane” with brand new dome”.
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 – 2014
FY 2011 – 2012
FY 2009 – 2010
FY 2007 – 2008
FY 1990 – 2006
Other National Command Jets
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