EH-60C Command and Control Aircraft
Army Aviation/Airborne Command and Control System (A2C2S)
The EH-60C Command and Control Aircraft is a UH-60 variant being developed for US Army as an airborne command post for brigade, division, and corps commanders. The EH-60C designation has been reserved, but not adopted, by the US Army. The Army Aviation/Airborne Command and Control System (A2C2S) would be issued to Airborne Corps, Division, separate maneuver brigades, and attack helicopter battalions. Currently in EMD phase, A2C2S needs 3 UH-60s with ESSS modification to support IOTE. The Army Airborne Command and Control System (A2C2S) provides "on-the-move", C2, real-time situational awareness (MCS, ASAS, AFATDS, FBCB2, AMPS) for common relevant battlefield picture. It uses a UH-60 Helicopter, has five interchangeable work stations (for the commander and four staff officers) with large screen common displays, and advanced voice/data communications. Will also digitally integrate with JSTARS CGS, C2V, and Longbow. Equipped with ground antennas for those comms that it can not receive when airborne. Communications connectivity includes datalinks, JTIDS, SINCGARS /SIP, EPLRS, UAV datalinks, and other specialized electronic equipment. Two prototypes were deployed with the 4th Infantry division, where they took part in a very successful demonstration of its capabilities during a Task Force XXI exercise. There is an opportunity to expand technology being developed for the Army Airborne Command and Control System from Army UH-60 aircraft to Air Force platforms to meet some of the En Route Mission Planning and Rehearsal System (EMPRS) ONS requirements. The EMPRS system, on board the aircraft, creates a wireless local area network connecting all planes, thereby allowing commanders and soldiers to do collaborative planning while enroute to their objective Fielding of the A2C2S system must support both the corps redesign and future contingency requirements.
The U.S. Army Airborne Command and Control System (A2C2S) is a UH-60 based Command and Control (C2) system that will serve as a corps, division, or maneuver brigade commander's airborne Tactical Command Post (TACCP). The system is being developed to enhance the battle command group's ability to effectively perform combat unit operations and serve as a force multiplier. The system will provide situational awareness information necessary to monitor mission execution and to adjust operations to the ever-changing battlefield environment. The A2C2S will allow a battle command group to perform three major operational functions: (1) mission planning, (2) mission execution, and (3) mission support. It is envisioned that this battle command group will consist of a commander, intelligence officer, operations officer, fire support officer, and one other officer as needed.
The system will include voice and data equipment for battlefield information processing and connectivity equivalent to the ground tactical command post and the Battle Command Vehicle (BCV). This ability will enable the warfighter to exercise C2 of assigned and attached elements, and to coordinate with adjacent, supported, and supporting forces. Specifically, the A2C2S will provide a relevant common picture of the battlefield, provide the necessary Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) links to keep this common picture updated, and be completely interoperable with other C2 vehicles like the BCV and the Command and Control Vehicle (C2V). This system will be developed to support an open architecture, and will incorporate components of the Common Operating Environment where applicable. During operations other than war, the system will provide connectivity to embassy, law enforcement, maritime, civil, and other humanitarian information and communications networks. An early prototype version of the A2C2S will also participate, along with several other similar systems, in the Task Force Twenty-One (TFXXI) digitized battlefield maneuvers.
The A2C2S is a UH-60 Black Hawk with a console of common networked computers, combat net radios (CNRs), and HaveQuick UHF radios. Satellite communications (SATCOM), HF radios, and a large digital map display on a flat panel screen. This system is used by commanders as a highly mobile C2 platform.
The A2C2S will provide real-time situational awareness and mission planning capability. The A2C2S requirement is an extension of the current airborne C2 capability; it is the airborne variant of the command and control vehicle (C2V) program. The helicopter (UH-60)-based C2 system will provide the commander an airborne C2 capability--with voice and data equipment. The capability provides battlefield information processing and connectivity equivalent to the tactical command post and the battle command vehicle (BCV) while static or airborne.
Staffing in the A2C2S will vary with mission requirements. The system will provide the corps, division, ground maneuver brigades, and attack helicopter battalion commanders with a mobile air vehicle; the vehicle will possess sufficient capability to acquire and communicate critical information at all times. The system will provide the commander an immediate, mobile C2 node for early entry operations. The airborne C2 system must fully interoperate with joint and allied forces; the ground commander's combat vehicle (CV); BCVs; corps and below components of the Army tactical command and control system (ATCCS)/Army battle command system (ABCS); and special operation forces C2 systems.
The A2C2S has the capability to communicate and exchange information and graphics with all elements of the battle, such as Longbow Apaches, en route to or in the battle position (BP); ground commander and elements; overhead intelligence sources (joint surveillance target attack radar system (JSTARS); unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)); fire support element; close air support (CAS); and any other element with the same equipment. Finally, in peace and humanitarian operations, the system will provide connectivity with civil and/or host nation information/communication networks.
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