The Navy receives the latest upgrade of the E-6B Mercury aircraft

The US Navy recently took delivery of its first upgraded E-6B Mercury aircraft, marking a major milestone in efforts to modernize the fleet’s communications capabilities. The delivery is the first of 16 planned upgraded E-6B models that will replace the Navy’s current fleet of aging aircraft.

The E-6B Mercury is an airborne command post and communications relay based on the Boeing 707 airframe. Its primary mission is to ensure reliable communications between the national command authority and US nuclear forces, even in the event of a nuclear attack. The upgraded E-6B features new digital avionics systems, upgraded navigation technology, and enhanced network-centric communication abilities.

According to Rear Admiral John Meier, Commander of Naval Air Forces, “The upgraded E-6B will enable us to operate in today’s communication environment and well into the future. The fleet can now leverage digital connectivity and real-time intelligence that this aircraft delivers.”

Key upgrades include replacing 1970’s-era analog systems with digital flight instruments, installing GPS navigation technology, and adding network-centric communication systems. This enhances the E-6B’s ability to communicate with multiple platforms and pass data in real-time.

The $500 million E-6B upgrade program aims to extend the Mercury’s service life another 25 years. The current E-6B fleet averages over 30 years of age. Replacing outdated components with modern avionics and communication gear will keep the airframe relevant for future Navy requirements.

As the rest of the upgraded E-6B fleet comes online, the Navy will begin phasing out its oldest E-6B models. The final upgraded aircraft is expected to be delivered by 2021. With its critical nuclear command-and-control mission, the E-6B modernization program is considered a top priority for improving the Navy’s communication resiliency and efficiency.

Related Posts

The development of military transport helicopters since the Sikorsky R4 after more than 80 years

It seems that transport helicopters have progressed greatly in the past 80 years since the days of the Sikorsky R4 “Egg Beater,” which took to the sies in

Read more

China’s First Carrier Sails with 24 Fighter Jets

China’s first aircraft carrier, Liaoning, celebrated its birthday by carrying in what appears to be a full load of 24 J-15 carrier-borne fighters on September

Read more

America’s Largest Drone – The RQ 4 Global Hawk

In the United States, the RQ-4 Global Hawk is the largest remotely piloted aircraft The RQ-4 Global Hawk is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by Northrop Grumman for the…

Read more

Brazil Boosts Air Power with AH-2 Sabre Helicopters

Read more

The ‘small but powerful’ artillery on armored vehicles in the Ukrainian battlefield

Armored vehicles mounted with 20-40 mm caliber guns play an important role in the Ukrainian battlefield, although their firepower is not as strong as large-caliber guns on tanks. Tanks are…

Read more

South Korea suspects North Korea provided more than a million artillery shells to Russia

South Korean intelligence believes that North Korea in the past three months has transferred more than a million artillery shells to Russia for use in the conflict with Ukraine. After…

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *