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C-2A(R) Reprocured

In 1984, a contract was awarded for 39 new C-2A aircraft to replace earlier the airframes. Dubbed the Reprocured C-2A due to the similarity to the original, the new aircraft include substantial improvements in airframe and avionic systems. Both new and old aircraft were classified as C-2As, but the new planes are better in nearly every way. They fly faster, farther, and carry heavier loads. They're safer, more comfortable, break down less often and, when they do, they are easier to fix. All the older C-2As were phased out in 1987, and the last of the new models was delivered in 1990.

The single most important improvement of the new C-2As is the more powerful engine, a third more horsepower than the old engine. It also has improved navigation and communications equipment. The plane is quieter inside, and has a public address system to better prepare the passengers for an arrested landing or catapult shot on a carrier. Other improvements include a three-color weather radar, an automatic carrier landing system (ACLS) and a 25% increase in payload capacity. The improvements in the C-2A increased the flight time between failures and cut maintenance man-hours in half. With all the changes, it is still a C-2 (its basic airframe is the same as the E-2C Hawkeye), and uses components common to aircraft presently in the fleet so the new planes easily fit into fleet operations and maintenance routines.

Designed from the basis of the E-2C Hawkeye, surprisingly the COD shares few common parts with the newer versions of the Hawkeye. The C-2A(R) retains the characteristics of the E-2C Aircraft in the areas of structures, hydraulics, and power plants. The avionics block upgrades for the C-2A(R) provide increased reliability and maintainability. A limited development test was conducted on the C-2A(R), due to the minor differences to the previous C-2A. Development Test and Evaluation (DT&E) and Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) were previously completed on the original C-2A Production Acceptance Test and Evaluation on the C-2A(R) was performed by the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), Patuxent River, Maryland, from June 1985 to February 1986.

The eight-bladed, all-composite NP2000 propeller is a military derivative of the commercial, six-bladed 568F propeller designed and manufactured by Hamilton Sundstrand and its French subsidiary, Ratier-Figeac. The issues that caused the replacement of the old four-blade model were not performance related. Rather, it was an issue of the old blade no longer being available for purchase. The NP2000 replaces the out-of-production 54460 Hamilton Sundstrand propeller on the twin-engine E-2Cs and C-2As. The NP2000 also is designed to be compatible with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150 and the Rolls-Royce AE2100 engines for P3 and C-130 aircraft applications. The US Navy selected the NP2000 for its E-2C Hawkeye and C-2A Greyhound aircraft in November 1997. The $44.5 million contract called for 187 propellers with an option to purchase 54 more.

The C-2A(R) provides tactical logistics support for deployed carrier battle groups. These aircraft have a 10,000 pound payload capacity and operate from forward area air stations in support of Atlantic and Pacific fleet operations. The aircraft's large aft door-ramp and powered winch promote a fast turnaround time via straight-in rear loading and unloading. Special missions have been developed which employ the C-2A. These missions include personnel, Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC), and air cargo drops. The CRRC drops entail disembarking a team of divers and their equipment while airborne.

The first to receive the reprocured C-2As was Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Twenty-four (VR-24), home ported at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily. During the period November 1985 to February 1987, VR-24, operating with seven Reprocured C-2As, demonstrated exceptional operational readiness while delivering two million pounds of cargo, two million pounds of mail and 14,000 passengers in support of the European and Mediterranean theatres.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:28:19 ZULU