Boeing E-6 Mercury

The Boeing E -6 and E -6 TACAMO ( Take Charge and Move Out) or E-6 Mercury, an aircraft of the U.S. Navy, based on the Boeing 707 is It serves as Gefechtsleitplattform, especially for the transmission of status messages of the strategic and tactical submarines of the U.S. Navy.


During the Cold War a connection to the nuclear submarines in the depths of the oceans was important. For the U.S. Navy C -130 "Hercules" machines used from the mid-1960s converted Lockheed. At the beginning of the 1980s reached this the end of its life, so was looking for a successor and in 1982 the U.S. Navy spent an appropriate offer prompt. After long negotiations, Boeing was awarded on April 29, 1983, receiving a development contract for based on the Boeing 707- 320B E -6A. The design took over large parts of the Boeing E-3A AWACS, including that of turbofan engine type CFM56 engines. The rollout of the first copy of the initially Hermes said machine was held in Renton in December 1986. The first flight (actually a ferry flight to the equipment and testing at Boeing Field in Seattle ) was held on 19 February 1987. When testing there were problems with the rudder and the Flügelbeplankung, which were caused by the loads when towing the antennas. Thus, the first E -6A were placed in Barbers Point, Hawaii until August 2, 1989 in service. Overall this type were delivered between 1989 and 1992 16 copies. As of 1995, twelve machines were equipped with additional communication systems, so that they could take over the communication with land-based ICBMs. These machines were now called E -6B Mercury II and took effect from 1 October 1998, the Looking-Glass inserts of discarded USAF EC- 135C. For this, the Milstar and other electrical equipment from the EC- 135C was removed and installed in the E-6. The first of these machines was completed in May 1997, launched on 25 June 1997 for testing by Patuxent River and declared in October 1998 for use. By the end of 2003, all E -6A were converted into the B version. You can see the converted machine in the " hump" on the front fuselage which houses the MILSTAR equipment and antennas. Over time, the machines have been modernized. So they got from 2002, a modern glass cockpit and after an appropriate job in 2004 at Rockwell Collins modern radio systems. The first of these converted to the block -I standard machines went on 24 February 2009 back to the U.S. Navy. The E-6 to remain in service until 2030.


Main feature of the E-6 are two drag antennas of 1200 and 7925 meters in the VLF range for communication with submarines. The longer of the two antennas must almost hang perpendicular to the transmission, which is achieved by flying in tight circles at speeds of around 250-340 km / h and transverse layers of 30 to 50 °. In the E -6B including three VHF / UHF, five HF and UHF SATCOM an ALR -66 and (V) are incorporated 4 EW system.