E-6 Mercury


E-6 Mercury

Infobox Aircraft
name=E-6 Mercury
type=Command and Control
manufacturer=Boeing


caption=A United States Navy E-6B at RAF Mildenhall in 2001.
designer=
first flight=February 1987
introduced=August 1989
retired=
number built=16
status=
primary user=United States Navy
more users=
unit cost=US$141.7 million
developed from=Boeing 707-320
variants with their own articles=
The Boeing E-6 Mercury is an American military aircraft. It operates as an airborne command post and communications center, relaying instructions from the National Command Authority. Its role in relaying to the fleet ballistic missile submarines gives one of its missions the acronym TACAMO ("Take Charge and Move Out").

Codenamed "Looking Glass", it is USSTRATCOM's Airborne Command Post, designed to take over in case NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center is destroyed or incapable of communicating with strategic forces. The name "Looking Glass" is another name for mirror, used because it "mirrors" the abilities of Cheyenne Mountain to control nuclear forces.

During the later years of the Cold War, when Cheyenne Mountain became vulnerable to a Soviet first strike, "Looking Glass" was said to be airborne 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with one plane taking off to replace another landing.

Design and development

Like the E-3 Sentry AWACS, the E-6 Mecury is adapted from Boeing's 707-320 commercial airliner. Only one version of the E-6 currently exists, the E-6B. The E-6B is an upgraded version of the E-6A that now includes a battlestaff area and new flight deck systems replacing the aging 1970s-style cockpit with an off-the-shelf 737 Next Generation cockpit. This greatly increases the situational awareness of the pilot and saves significant cost over a custom avionics package.

The first E-6A was accepted by the US Navy in August 1989, sixteen were delivered up to 1992. The first E-6B was accepted in December 1997 and the entire E-6 fleet was modified to the E-6B standard, with the final delivery taking place on December 1, 2006. [cite web |url=http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2006/q4/061201b_nr.html |title=Boeing Delivers Final Upgraded E6-B to U.S. Navy |last= |first= |date=2006-12-01 |accessdate=2007-03-04 |work= |publisher=The Boeing Company ]

pecifications

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=jet

ref=Navy Fact File [ [http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=1100&tid=800&ct=1 The US Navy -- Fact File] , U.S. Navy, retrieved 2007-03-04.]

crew=12-14
capacity=23
length main= 150 ft 4 in
length alt= 45.8 m
span main= 148 ft 4 in
span alt= 45.2 m
height main= 42 ft 5 in
height alt= 12.9 m
area main=
area alt=
airfoil=
empty weight main=
empty weight alt=
loaded weight main= 342,000 lb
loaded weight alt= 154,400 kg
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main= 341,000 lb
max takeoff weight alt= 154,400 kg
more general=

engine (jet)=CFMI CFM-56-2A-2
type of jet=high-bypass turbofans
number of jets=4
thrust main=
thrust alt=
thrust original=
afterburning thrust main=
afterburning thrust alt=
engine (prop)=
type of prop=
number of props=
power main=
power alt=
power original=

max speed main= 522 knots
max speed alt= 600 mph, 960 km/h
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
range main= 6,600 nm
range alt= 7,590 sm, 12,144 km with 6 hours loiter time
ceiling main= > 40,000 ft
ceiling alt= 12,200 m
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
thrust/weight=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=

armament=

avionics=

References

External links

* [http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/ic/e6tacamo/index.html E-6 page at Boeing.com]
* [http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/c3i/e-6.htm E-6 MERCURY (TACAMO) page at FAS.org]
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/planes/e6.htm E-6 at history.navy.mil]

ee also

aircontent

lists=
*List of active military aircraft of the United States


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