Thursday, November 07, 2013

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: U.S. DoD Awarded Contract To DRS C3 & Aviation Co., For $50,892,583 Related To E-6B Mercury Program

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: U.S. DoD Awarded Contract To DRS C3 & Aviation Co., For $50,892,583 Related To E-6B Mercury Program
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by K. V. Seth +  U.S. DoD issued No. 773-13 November 5, 2013
(NSI News Source Info) KOTTAKKAL, Kerala, India - November 7, 2013:  DRS C3 & Aviation Co., Gaithersburg, Md., is being awarded a $50,892,583 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced contract (N00019-11-C-0011) to exercise an option for logistics services in support of the E-6B Mercury program, including the procurement and repair of operational, depot and Military Standard Requisitioning and Issue Procedures spares and associated shipping and data. 

Work will be performed at Tinker Air Force Base (AFB), Okla. (70 percent); Offutt AFB, Neb. (10 percent); Travis AFB, Calif. (10 percent); and Patuxent River, Md. (10 percent); and is expected to be completed in November 2014. 

Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Navy contract funds in the amount of $13,325,899 will be obligated at time of award, all of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. 

The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity.

The US Navy's Boeing-built E-6B Mercury aircraft has successfully completed an internet protocol bandwidth expansion (IPBE) upgrade, as part of its service life extension programme (SLEP) overhaul.

The IPBE upgrade will enable the E-6B Mercury aircraft to enhance its capability to support missions during any crisis, while replacing more than 5,000lb of backup equipment from the aircraft.

A part of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 4 at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, US, the aircraft 410 is the third fleet E-6B airborne command post aircraft to receive the IPBE upgrade.

Enhancement to the aircraft's secure local area computer network also enables the onboard battle staff members to operate the aircraft virtually, while saving space and weight.

E-6 Airborne Strategic Command, Control and Communications Program Office (PMA-271) IPBE team lead Curt Rosenbery said: "The IPBE upgrade is an expanded secure local area computer network for the aircraft currently consisting of two live feeds, an ultra-high frequency line of sight digital data feed used while operating over the US and a commercial Inmarsat satellite feed for use when operating outside the US."

The IPBE upgrade is also scheduled for 12 additional E-6B aircraft with the last installation expected to be completed in the middle of 2019, Rosenbery said.

PMA-271 programme manager captain Dana Dewey said that the IPBE upgrade will provide the onboard aircraft crew with faster, more reliable internet access to both classified and unclassified information.

"A fully integrated system with no requirement for carry-on equipment is our ultimate goal for the operational crews," Dewey added.

Equipped with an airborne launch control system, the E-6B dual-mission aircraft has been designed to offer survivable, reliable and endurable airborne command, control and communications between the users.

Communications relay and strategic airborne command post aircraft. Provides survivable, reliable, and endurable airborne command, control, and communications between the National Command Authority (NCA) and U.S. strategic and non-strategic forces. Two squadrons, the "Ironmen" of VQ-3 and the "Shadows" of VQ-4 deploy more than 20 aircrews from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. to meet these requirements.

Boeing derived the E-6A from its commercial 707 to replace the aging EC-130Q in the performance of the Navy's TACAMO ("Take Charge and Move Out") mission. TACAMO links the NCA with naval ballistic missile forces during times of crisis. The aircraft carries a very low frequency communication system with dual trailing wire antennas. The Navy accepted the first E-6A in August 1989.

The E-6B was conceived as a replacement for the Air Force's Airborne Command Post due to the age of the EC-135 fleet. The E-6B modified an E-6A by adding battlestaff positions and other specialized equipment. The E-6B is a dual-mission aircraft capable of fulfilling either the E-6A 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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*Link for This article compiled by K. V. Seth +  U.S. DoD issued No. 773-13 November 5, 2013
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

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