US Navy to reduce wear on 'Doomsday' aircraft with E-3D trainer

by Gareth Jennings

The US Navy (USN) is looking to reduce wear on its 16 Boeing E-6B Mercury long-endurance command, control, and communications (C3) aircraft by using a Boeing E-3D Sentry Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) as a surrogate training platform.

The US Navy wants to reduce the training burden on its 16 E-6B Mercury nuclear command aircraft by purchasing an E-3D AWACS that can serve as a surrogate airframe. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The US Navy wants to reduce the training burden on its 16 E-6B Mercury nuclear command aircraft by purchasing an E-3D AWACS that can serve as a surrogate airframe. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Under the plan, disclosed on the US government beta.sam.gov procurement website on 28 October, the USN will purchase an E-3D to act as a flight trainer for the E-6B in order to reduce fatigue on the C3 fleet of aircraft, dubbed ‘Doomsday’ on account of their nuclear control mission.

“The E-6B is integral to US nuclear C3 system, and provides assured capability for US nuclear force execution. Currently, the US Navy conducts all initial and recurring E-6B pilot training flight in E-6B mission aircraft,” the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) said in its notification, adding “These training flights expose mission aircraft to significant unnecessary wear-and-tear and negatively impact E-6B readiness and availability. Moreover, lack of a dedicated training aircraft increases the time required to train qualified aircrews needed to execute the E-6B mission. The purchase of an [E-3D] in-flight trainer aircraft will result in the reduction of 600 flight hours and 2,400 landings/cycles per year from the E-6B mission aircraft.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/us-navy-to-reduce-wear-on-doomsday-aircraft-with-e-3d-trainer

The US Navy (USN) is looking to reduce wear on its 16 Boeing E-6B Mercury long-endurance command, co...

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