The C-2A Greyhound , twin-engine cargo aircraft designed to land on aircraft carriers, provides critical logistics support to aircraft carriers. Nicknamed the "COD" for its Carrier Onboard Delivery mission, the Grumman C-2A Greyhound is a carrier-based transport capable of carrying a mix of 10,000 pounds of high-priority cargo and passengers. Powered by two T-6 turboprop engines, the COD can accommodate up to 26 passengers or up to 20 litter patients.
The COD is capable of carrying jet engines, dropping special forces, or delivering the mail. Cargo tiedown is facilitated by a cage system that can restrain the cargo under loads of up to 20 g's forward and from the catapulting and arresting loads encountered during carrier operation. The COD is capable of air dropping search and rescue (SAR) equipment. It is also equipped to accept litter patients in medical evacuation missions. Priority cargo such as jet engines can be transported from shore to ship in a matter of hours. A cage system or transport stand provides cargo restraint for loads during carrier launch or landing. The large aft cargo ramp and door and a powered winch allow straight-in rear cargo loading and downloading for fast turnaround.
The C-2A's open-ramp flight capability allows airdrop of supplies and personnel from a carrier-launched aircraft. This, plus its folding wings and an on-board auxiliary power unit for engine starting and ground power self-sufficiency in remote areas provide an operational versatility found in no other cargo aircraft.
The C-2A has a wide range of communications and radio navigation equipment that is compatible with both military and civil airways on a worldwide basis. Communications equipment includes HF, VHF, and UHF; radio navigation aids include GPS, OMEGA, TACAN, dual VOR, UHF/DF, LF/ADF, weather radar, Doppler radar, and two carrier approach systems. An automatic flight control system provides directional stability augmentation, three axis attitude control, and altitude hold control. The crew consists of a Pilot, Copilot, Crewchief, and Loadmaster / Second Crewman.
The C-2A Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) transport aircraft are assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadrons (VRCs). Greyhounds serve 12 carriers from two primary locations:
- VRC-30, which is based at Naval Air North Island, CA and currently operates 12 C-2A aircraft throughout the Pacific and Central Commands, including two C-2A aircraft permanently forward deployed to Japan on the USS Kitty Hawk.
- VRC-40 is based at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
Nineteen were bought in the late sixties to replace the aging C-l Trader in the "carrier onboard delivery", or "COD", role. The original C-2A aircraft were overhauled, and their operational life extended, in 1973. The old C-2As were referred to as "SLEPs" because they've received "service life extension program" modifications.
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