Friday, February 23, 2024

US Navy receives first upgraded E-6B ‘doomsday plane’

The U.S. Navy has received the first E-6B Mercury ‘doomsday plane’ upgraded under the Integrated Modification and Maintenance Contract (IMMC).

According to a press release from Northrop Grumman, the Corporation successfully delivered the first E-6B Mercury aircraft under the IMMC back to the Navy in record time.

“Five kits were successfully integrated onto the E-6B platform, implementing efficiencies and improving aircraft command, control and communications functions,” said in a news release.

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Northrop Grumman was awarded the Integrated Modification and Maintenance Contract (IMMC) for the Navy’s E-6B Mercury platform, a derivative of the commercial Boeing 707 aircraft, in February 2022. The work was performed at Northrop Grumman’s Aircraft Maintenance and Fabrication Center in Lake Charles.

As part of the critical Take Charge and Move Out (TACAMO) strategic communications mission, the E-6B operates across a wide-frequency spectrum to transmit and receive secure and non-secure voice and data information. The aircraft provides survivable, reliable and endurable airborne command, control and communications in support of the President, Secretary of Defense and United States Strategic Command.

The second aircraft has already arrived in Lake Charles, and capability upgrades, integrations and tests on the aircraft are underway. Over the next several years, Northrop Grumman will continue to perform these modifications to the Navy’s E-6B aircraft, improving command, control and communications functions that connect the NCA with the United States’ nuclear triad. The company will establish a consolidated production line for core modifications required under the $111 million contract.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global aerospace and defense technology company. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with the capabilities they need to connect and protect the world, and push the boundaries of human exploration across the universe. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our 95,000 employees define possible every day.

The E-6B is a dual-mission aircraft capable of fulfilling either the TACAMO mission or the airborne strategic command post mission and is equipped with an airborne launch control system (ALCS). The ALCS is capable of launching U.S. land based intercontinental ballistic missiles. The first E-6B aircraft was accepted in December 1997 and the E-6B assumed its dual operational mission in October 1998. The E-6 fleet was completely modified to the E-6B configuration in 2003.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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