First A2C2S Airborne Command Post Delivered to the US Army


Released on Thursday, December 16, 2004
United States of America
A2C2S
UH-60L Blackhawk
A2C2S - Army Airborne Command and Control System
C2 - Command and Control
C3 - Command, Control and Communications
LRIP - Low Rate Initial Production
Raytheon has delivered the first low rate initial production (LRIP) Army Airborne Command and Control System (A2C2S) to the US Army. A2C2S uses the combat proven H-60 airframe to provide Command and Control (C2) capability over the battlefield on the move at high speed.

A2C2S prototypes have supported the US Army's 4th infantry division in Iraq for more than a year and the 3rd infantry division since May 2004 with successful results. During 17 months of combat duty, these airborne platforms logged thousands of mission hours to assist warfighters and peacekeepers overseas. The US Army assessment on the A2C2S shows up that the system meets and exceeds the initial requirements in terms of performance and reliability.

Operational assessment showed up that A2C2S is mature and ready for production. As a result, Raytheon is under contract to manufacture five low rate initial production (LRIP) A2C2S systems and two A-kit for EUH-60 helicopters. Additional A2C2S systems are expected to be funded in fiscal year 2005. To date, A2C2S has logged more than 3,000 operational hours with approximately 2,000 of them in combat.

The US Army calls for around 120 A2C2S systems to be fielded during the program's lifetime. A2C2S utilizes the combat proven UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter modified through the addition of a mission equipment package suitable for C2 tasks and transforms the helicopter into airborne command post. The resulting platform is used by commanders at brigade, division and above level to maintain Command, Control and Communications (C3) while moving through the battlespace at 120 miles per hour (180 kilometers per hour).

This capability supporting digitized and non-digitized forces in all scenarios is dubbed 'C-2 on-the-move'. The range of scenarios supported by the A2C2S include full scale mechanized operations, smaller scale special operations, and homeland defense applications. Tied to the last item, Raytheon is developing the Homeland Defense Module that links civilians means to National Guard and active military forces during disaster response and homeland security missions. A first prototype is expected to roll out the production line in 2005.

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