The USA’s E-6 Fleet: Take Charge, And Move Out!
November 30/17: Maintenance & Support The US Navy has exercised a second year option with IAP Worldwide Services for logistics support services on E-6B Mercury aircraft. Worth over $58.9 million, the contract tasks IAP with maintaining and supporting the E-6B Take Charge and Move Out (TACAMO) and Airborne Command Post aircraft, support equipment, aircraft weapon system, associated support sites, and supporting organizations, up until November 2018. Work will take place at several US locations including: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (70 percent); Patuxent River, Maryland (10 percent); Bellevue, Nebraska (10 percent); and Fairfield, California (10 percent). News of the contract comes as rising tensions over the possible threat of nuclear war with North Korea remain high, with Pyongyang testing yet another nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile on Wednesday. The Pentagon’s E-6 fleet, based out of Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is tasked with relaying instructions from the National Command Authority to its fleet of ballistic missile submarines in the event of nuclear war. E-6B model Mercury aircraft are also capable of remotely controlling Minutemen ICBMs.
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 – 2017
FY 2011 – 2012
FY 2009 – 2010
FY 2007 – 2008
FY 1990 – 2006
Other National Command Jets
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