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The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has been awarded a $28.8 million sole-source U.S. Navy contract to upgrade the service’s fleet of 16 E-6B airborne command, control and communications aircraft.
In support of ongoing E6-B spiral development activities, the first phase of the Internet Protocol Bandwidth Expansion program will use commercial-off-the-shelf technology to increase the aircraft’s wideband communications capabilities, allowing for real-time data transmission on the jet. Work on the first aircraft will be completed in 2010.
“This is an important upgrade for the E-6 fleet that will provide our warfighters with much greater situational awareness and allow them to more effectively comply with increasingly complex global airspace requirements,” said John Fraser, Boeing E-6B program manager.
The E-6B is a modified Boeing 707 that provides survivable, durable and reliable airborne command, control and communications in support of the president, secretary of defense and U.S. Strategic Command.
“The Navy’s E-6B is a key component of our nation’s strategic nuclear forces. As the original aircraft manufacturer, Boeing plays an essential role in support of this critical national asset,” said Fraser. “We have worked closely with our Navy customer to understand their needs and provide them with the solutions they need to keep the E-6B a viable platform well into the future.”
The E-6B program reports to Integrated Defense Systems Support Systems’ Special Air Mission (SAM) organization, which modifies executive transport aircraft for U.S. government and military customers.
“The E-6B contract fits perfectly into the SAM portfolio of aircraft,” said Leanne Caret, director of SAM programs for Boeing. “The SAM team will continue to provide the products and services our customers need to perform their very critical mission of command and control for the U.S. government and military.”
The E-6B program office is located in Oklahoma City, Okla.; however, much of the initial non-recurring effort for both engineering and installation will be conducted at the Boeing Support Systems facility in Wichita, Kan