Boeing E-6 Mercury
Boeing E-6 Mercury

Collins Aerospace Successfully Completes Modernization of E-6B Mercury

Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp., has successfully completed modernizing the E-6B Block I aircraft fleet, part of the Navy’s Airborne Command Post and Take Charge and Move Out (ABNCP/TACAMO) Weapon System missions. The upgraded aircraft features a new command and control battlestaff, communications central control, multi-enclave voice/data/video distribution system, and an Internet Protocol Bandwidth Expansion (IPBE) digital backbone. Collins Aerospace acted as the Mission System Integrator (MSI), designing, developing, producing, installing, and qualifying the recapitalization of the mission system.

“The Block I contract is an example and testament to Collins Aerospace’s ability to deliver comprehensive, integrated and durable solutions to the Navy and E-6B community,” said Heather Robertson, vice president and general manager, Integrated Solutions, Mission Systems, Collins Aerospace. “As a result of this upgrade, crews have a modern, multi-enclave mission system that provides a full picture of their operating environment.”

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As part of the ABNCP mission, the E-6B is an airborne command post and communications relay for U.S. nuclear forces. For the TACAMO mission, the E-6B provides the survivable communications link to our submarine forces using Collins Aerospace’s Very Low Frequency (VLF) terminal. The work was completed at Will Rogers Airport where the company’s co-located modification facility completed the 8-year full-rate Production (FRP) effort. With over 50 years of working within the TACAMO community, Collins Aerospace continues to deliver integrated solutions that ensure the utmost performance for the Navy’s critical, no-fail, missions.

Collins Aerospace successfully completes modernization of legacy E-6B Mercury Block I aircraft
Collins Aerospace successfully completes modernization of legacy E-6B Mercury Block I aircraft (Photo by Collins Aerospace Systems)

The Boeing E-6 Mercury (formerly E-6 Hermes) is an airborne command post and communications relay based on the Boeing 707. 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 TACAMO (“Take Charge and Move Out”) 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.

Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp. (NYSE: RTX), is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industry. Created in 2018 by bringing together UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins, Collins Aerospace has the capabilities, comprehensive portfolio and expertise to solve customers’ toughest challenges and to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global market. Raytheon Technologies Corporation is an aerospace and defense company that provides advanced systems and services for commercial, military and government customers worldwide. The company, formed in 2020 through the combination of Raytheon Company and the United Technologies Corporation aerospace businesses, is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.

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