Defense

April 17, 2013

E-6 Mercury fleet expands, upgrades bandwidth capabilities

The E-6B Mercury’s capability to support U.S. leaders continues to expand with the latest internet protocol expansion. The upgrades to the aircraft’s secure local area computer network now allow the onboard battle staff members to operate virtually.

An internet bandwidth upgrade being rolled out on the E-6B Mercury aircraft, the nationís airborne strategic command platform, is expanding the jetís capability to support the nationís leaders in a crisis.

The Internet Protocol Bandwidth Expansion upgrade was recently installed during a service life extension program overhaul on aircraft 410, which was delivered to the Navy on March 14.

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

The upgrade brings a more robust network capability while saving space and weight, said Curt Rosenbery, IPBE team lead for the E-6 Airborne Strategic Command, Control and Communications Program Office (PMA-271).

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 U.S. and a commercial Inmarsat satellite feed for use when operating outside the U.S., Rosenbery said.

To date, four aircraft have been outfitted with IPBE, one test aircraft located at Pax River and three fleet aircraft belonging to VQ-4. Twelve more E-6Bs are scheduled to get the IPBE upgrade with the last installation scheduled for completion in mid-fiscal 2019, Rosenbery added.

The biggest benefit IPBE brings to the fleet is providing faster, more reliable internet access to information, both classified and unclassified, to the battle staff onboard the aircraft,î said Capt. Dana Dewey, PMA-271s program manager. Now, the general officers and the battle staff have almost the same level of operational capability as if they were working in their regular offices.

Another benefit of the upgrade was the removal of more than 5,000 pounds of backup equipment from the aircraft. We replaced that equipment with multiple racks of the IPBE servers and routers like those that run military computer networks, Dewey said.

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

The E-6B is a dual-mission aircraft that provides survivable, reliable and endurable airborne command, control and communications between the National Command Authority and U.S. strategic and nonstrategic forces and airborne strategic command post mission. The aircraft is equipped with an airborne launch control system.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Navy photograph

Navy to commission submarine North Dakota

Navy photograph The PCU North Dakota (SSN 784) during bravo sea trials. The crew performed exceptionally well on both alpha and bravo sea trials. The submarine North Dakota is the 11th ship of the Virginia class, the first U.S....
 
 
Army photograph by David Kamm

Army advances technology at Base Camp Integration Laboratory

Army photograph by David Kamm Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, listens as Bob Graney explains details of the energy-efficient rigid-wall shelter system, Oct. 22, 2014...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Wesley Farnsworth

New application aims to improve analyst’s performance

Air Force photograph by Wesley Farnsworth 1st Lt. Kristin Spencer, 711th Human Performance Wing behavioral scientist, watches a video for suspicious behavior during a demonstration of a new Enhanced Reporting, Narrative Event S...
 

 
navair-triton2

Triton UAS completes second transcontinental flight across the U.S.

  The second of three MQ-4C Triton test aircraft makes its debut at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., Oct. 24 after completing its inaugural cross-country flight from Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale, Calif., facilit...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Taylor Curry

Wolf Pack soars at RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1

Air Force photograph by SrA. Taylor Curry South Korea air force pilots prepare to taxi their KF-16 Fighting Falcons to the runway during Red Flag-Alaska 15-1 Oct. 17, 2014, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. This field training...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Upgrades ‘new normal’ for armor in uncertain budget environment

Courtesy photograph The current Paladin is severely under-powered and overweight so its speed of cross-country mobility is pretty restricted. The Paladin Integrated Management program is designed to address a number of these we...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>