TACAMO (Take Charge and Move Out) airplanes support the U.S. Navy's ballistic missile submarine force. They provide survivable, reliable, and endurable airborne command, control, and communications between the National Command Authority (NCA) and U.S. strategic and non-strategic forces.
Functions and Capabilities
The E-6 TACAMO consists of the E-6A, a modified Boeing 707-320B with CFM-56 engines, and the E-6B, a modified E-6A equipped with an airborne launch control system (ALCS) capable of launching U.S. land based intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The fleet provides:
- a faster and longer-range aircraft than the older propeller-driven EC-130 and EC-135.
- continuous airborne alert coverage for both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
- a very-low-frequency (VLF) dual trailing wire antenna system to permit one-way, emergency communications to submerged submarines.
- operation from short airfields in emergencies.
Among Boeing's contributions are:
- A series of post-production reliability and maintainability upgrades, including tail-section modifications.
- A new digital auto-pilot system upgrade to replace the airplane's original analog system to improve reliability and maintainability.
- Orbit Improvement System (OIS) enhancements and modifications to improve communication effectiveness.
- An electronic horizontal situation indicator (EHSI) and attitude direction indicator (EADI) flight instrument system to replace existing analog equipment.
- Modification of trainers wherein a total of 168 modifications were designed and installed into the various trainers.
- A Frequency Reference Auto-Paralleling Unit (FRAPU) modification to ward off disruptive power losses and eliminate power surges and transients.
The E-6 TACAMO is an important communications relay for fleet ballistic missile submarines (A and B models) and airborne command post for U.S. Strategic forces (B model).
For more information, read the E-6 Tacamo overview (pdf). If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader for reading PDF files, it is available for free from Adobe.
If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader for reading PDF files, it is available for free from Adobe.