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Common Aviation Command and Control System (CAC2S)

The Marine Corps has developed its own system, the Common Aviation Command and Control System (CAC2S), based on technology akin to that of JBECC. Some of that technology has been developed by Raytheon, a TRS partner. The Common Aviation Command and Control System (CAC2S) will condense the applications of existing Marine air command and control (C2) systems [MACCS] into one combined and coordinated operational system. A common hardware platform, with consolidated software capabilities, is a logical progression for the next generation of MACCS equipment and will upgrade the MACCS to a common C2 platform which will be used in varied configurations by all MACCS C2 agencies. Ultimately, CAC2S will help provide MAGTF mission critical support to better integrate aviation and ground combat operations.

During MAGTF joint and combined operations, voice and data interconnectivity between all friendly C2 assets is imperative. The CAC2S will encompass the Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS) missions and functions, replacing the current C2 suites of equipment to effectively integrate Marine aviation C2 into joint and combined airground operations. The CAC2S will integrate aviation C2 functions into an interoperable system that supports the Marine Corps core warfighting competencies. The system will provide aviation planning, control, and execution functions in an environment designed to enhance efficiency and mission accomplishment.

CAC2S is a major C2 systems design and development effort to modernize the C2 assets of the Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS). CAC2S will use standardized tactical shelters and common hardware, and software toward reducing the MACCS logistical footprint and commonalizing Marine Corps equipment. It will encompass the MACCS C2 missions and functions and replace the current C2 suites with one integrated operational system.

CAC2S will be comprised of subsystems, using Combat Operations Center (COC) facilities and support equipment to provide the User interface to the system. CAC2S software capabilities will include the functions common to all current MACCS C2 agencies, including the ACE requirement for aviation C2 planning. The CAC2S will interface with, but not replace, radios, air defense weapons, and sensors organic to the MACCS.

CAC2S replaces six disparate legacy platforms and provides an expeditionary and common C2 platform for Marine Aviation that is employable from the sea base, ashore, and in an airborne node. It will provide aviation command posts, air defense, air support, air operations and air traffic control capabilities (including Joint air C2 capability).

By the year 2000 the Marine Corps was nearing completion of its fielding of the AN/TPS-59(V)3 radar. The AN/TPS-59 is the Marine Corps' three dimensional, long-range air surveillance radar. The victor-3 variant includes enhanced detection, tracking, and cueing of smaller radar cross section targets to include theater ballistic missile point-oforigin/ point-of-impact information. The improved radar provides land based air surveillance for the Marine component of a naval force and is a contributing sensor to the Navy's Cooperative Engagement Capability. Marine Aviation Command and Control will provide the landward "eyes" for seabased shooters as well as engagement control for land-based systems, and radar intercepts for airborne platforms.

CAC2S contributes to a commander's ability to have full spectrum situational awareness. This will produce a Joint, common, continuous and unambiguous air picture with fire quality data. This capability will enhance early detection, classification, and identification of all tracks and provide defense-in-depth with 360 degree coverage.

The CAC2S, in conjunction with MACCS organic sensors and weapons systems, supports the tenants of OMFTS and fosters a Joint interoperability with other Service C2 systems. It will replace legacy C2 systems in the following Marine aviation C2 elements:

  1. Tactical Air Command Center (TACC)
  2. Tactical Air Operations Center (TAOC)
  3. Direct Air Support Center (DASC)
  4. Marine Air Traffic Control Detachment (MATCD)
  5. Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion (LAAD BN)
The Common Aviation Command and Control System provides a complete modernization replacement for the command and control (C2) equipment of the Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS) which is nearing the end of it's service life. CAC2S replaces single mission, stove-piped military specification, legacy systems while providing commonality in training and logistics support. CAC2S fulfills joint net-ready capability standards required of all DOD C2 systems and remedies the operational, technical, and performance deficiencies of the existing MACCS.

CAC2S will provide a complete and coordinated modernization of the equipment of the Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS). CAC2S will eliminate current dissimilar systems and provide the Aviation Combat Element with the necessary hardware, software, and facilities to effectively command, control, and coordinate air operations while integrated with naval and joint command and control (C2). CAC2S will be comprised of standardized modular and scalable tactical facilities, hardware, and software that will significantly reduce the physical size and logistical footprint of the MACCS. In 2005 the Marine Requirements Oversight Council chose CAC2S along with Command and Control Personal Computer as foundation components of MAGTF C2. This decision paves the way for improved integration across the MAGTF.

The main capability of CAC2S will be in the following areas: Tactical Air Command Center; Direct Air Support Center (Air to Ground operations); in addition to Tactical Air Operations Center (Air to Air and Ground to Air operations) and CAC2S Configuration.

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