Defense

April 22, 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-271ís 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. ìWe replaced that equipment with multiple racks of the IPBE servers and routers like those that run military computer networks,î 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.


 
 

 

Headlines March 4, 2015

News: Pentagon: Another BRAC will save money - Pentagon planners have a new pitch to lawmakers skeptical of a fresh round of base closings: We promise we’ll save money this time.   Business: China’s new C919 will begin test flights this year - China’s new superjet will take to the skies for the first time later this...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham

World War II pilot reunited with P-47

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham Retired Air National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Hertel, laughs while under the wing of a P-47 Thunderbolt during the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course Feb. 2...
 
 

News Briefs March 4, 2015

General: 8,500 Islamic State fighters killed in Iraq so far The U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq has killed more than 8,500 Islamic State fighters since its bombing campaign began in August, the top general overseeing the coalition said March 3. Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said the Islamic State, which...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Turning up the heat

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser weapon system defeats a truck target by disabling the engine, demonstrating its military effectiveness against enemy ground vehicles. Latest evolution of Lockheed Martin l...
 
 

USO Visit

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Actor Vince Vaughn speaks with Edwards Airmen and 412th Security Forces Squadron members at the base library before introducing an advance screening of his new movie, “Unfinished Business,” at the base theater Feb. 28.
 
 

Sikorsky S-97 RAIDERô team begins final assembly of second aircraft

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., announced March 4 the start of final assembly of the second S-97 RAIDERô helicopter at the company’s Development Flight Center. Along with a team of industry suppliers, Sikorsky is developing two RAIDERô prototypes to demonstrate the revolutionary new capabilities in improved maneuverability and flight speed. The...
 




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>