By Laura Stone and Maj. (ret.) Mike KuenzliOctober 29, 2007
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., - The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center's Engineering Directorate Prototype Integration Facility recently delivered two Army Airborne Command and Control System Command Configuration aircraft to areas of operation.
This latest configuration of A2C2S is enhanced to meet the specific requirements of the Multi-National force - Iraq commander, Gen. David Petraeus. The A2C2S team, including the Prototype Integration Facility, the prime contractor Joint Venture Yulista SES-I, A2C2S Program Management Office, AMRDEC Aviation Engineering Directorate, and Redstone Technical Test Center, worked around the clock for three months to design, manufacture, install, test, and deliver the two modified Blackhawks. A contact team will travel to theater for six weeks to modify an additional two aircraft to the Command configuration.
A2C2S is an on-the-move command and control system that transforms selected UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters into airborne command posts. Specifically, A2C2S provides aircraft with data and voice communication capability with ground and air support, situational awareness, common view of the battlefield, over the battlefield mobility, and connectivity to other information/communication networks.
The system includes as many as five interchangeable workstations (dependent upon configuration), large-screen displays, advanced voice/data communications suite, Voice-Over-Internet Protocol, International Maritime Satellite, communications, and supportability improvements. The new Command Configuration includes VIP steps/seats, commander workstation on the Blackhawk bulkhead with separate display and multilevel connectivity, accelerated INMARSAT capability as well as seats for 10 crew members.
LTC Chip Carter, Product Manager-A2C2S recently commented that, "Delivery of complex aviation integrated systems, such as A2C2S, does not occur by accident. It happens due to the diligent efforts of a professional team." LTC Carter went on to say the team comprised "worked endlessly to meet this aggressive delivery schedule, saved $1.5M per system, and brought this much-needed capability to the Warfighter. I am extremely pleased with the PIF and the outstanding employees they bring to the A2C2S product team. The leadership of Multi-National Forces-Iraq will be ecstatic with this new capability."