Rockwell Collins is being awarded a modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise an option for the installation of Block I/Internet Protocol Bandwidth Expansion Phase 3/Block IA Very Low Transmit Terminal/Nuclear Planning and Execution System kit on one E-6B Mercury aircraft.
The contract, valued aroun $12.7 million, is awarded by the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) based in Patuxent River, Maryland
This modification also provides for field support engineering, training, software licenses, technology refresh activities and travel funding in support of E-6B Block I full-rate production.
Work will be performed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (85 percent); and Richardson, Texas (15 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2019.
Boeing E-6 Mercury (formerly E-6 Hermes) is an airborne command post and communications relay based on the Boeing 707-320.
The original E-6A manufactured by Boeing’s defense division entered service with the United States Navy in July 1989, replacing the EC-130Q. This platform, now modified to the E-6B standard, conveys instructions from the National Command Authority to fleet ballistic missile submarines, a mission known as TACAMO (TAke Charge And Move Out).
The E-6B model deployed in October 1998 also has the ability to remotely control Minuteman ICBMs using the Airborne Launch Control System.
The E-6B replaced Air Force EC-135Cs in the “Looking Glass” role, providing command and control of U.S. nuclear forces should ground-based control become inoperable.
With production lasting until 1991, the E-6 was the final new derivative of the Boeing 707 to be built.