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Rotary-Wing Aircraft
AV-8B HARRIER.  —The AV-8B is a single- engine,  single-crew-member  aircraft  capable  of vertical/short   takeoff   and   landing   (V/STOL) operations. Operated by the U.S. Marine Corps, it  was  designed  to  be  highly  responsive  to  the needs  of  ground  forces  for  close  air  support.  Its V/STOL  capability  enables  it  to  operate  from relatively  unprepared  sites  close  to  the  action, thus increasing its sortie rate. It also can operate from  U.S.  Navy  amphibious  assault  ships.  The AV-8B  is  built  primarily  by  McDonnell  Aircraft Company,   a   division   of   McDonnell-Douglas Corporation, with major contributions by British Aerospace.  The  predecessor  to  the  AV-8B,  the British Aerospace’s AV-8C, was introduced to the U.S.  Marine  Corps  in  1969.  The  British  version of the aircraft saw a great deal of action during the  1982  Falklands  War. Other  Fixed-Wing  Aircraft The  Navy  uses  different  aircraft  in  various roles,  ranging  from  early  warning  to  submarine patrol. Some of these aircraft are discussed in the following   paragraphs. E-2C  HAWKEYE.  —The  E-2C  Hawkeye  is the  U.S.  Navy’s  all-weather,  carrier-based  tactical airborne  warning  and  control  system  platform. An  integral  component  of  the  carrier  air  wing,  the E-2C   carries   three   primary   sensors:   radar, identification  friend  or  foe  (IFF),  and  a  passive detection  system.  These  sensors  are  integrated with a general-purpose computer. This computer enables  the  E-2C  to  provide  early  warning,  threat analyses, and control of counteraction against air and  surface  targets.  The  E-2C  incorporates  the latest solid-state electronics. F-14   Tomcat   fighters   provided   combat   air patrol  during  the  two-carrier  battle  group  joint strike against terrorist-related Libyan targets in 1986. The carrier-based E-2C Hawkeye directed the  F-14  Tomcat  fighters  during  the  strike  and during the crisis periods preceding and following the  strike.  E-2Cs  and  Aegis  cruisers,  working together, provided total air mass superiority over the American fleet. American aircraft intercepted 153 Libyan air force attempts to overfly the U.S. fleet, intercept the U.S. fighter combat air patrol, or  gather  intelligence  information.  Not  once  did a  Libyan  aircraft  get  into  firing  position  before a  U.S.  aircraft  or  Aegis  platform  missile  locked it into its sight. E-2  aircraft  also  have  worked  effectively with  U.S.  law  enforcement  agencies  in  drug interdiction   operations. The E-2C replaces the E-2B, an earlier version. E-2C   aircraft   entered   U.S.   Navy   service   in November  1973. EA-6B PROWLER.  —The EA-6B Prowler is a four-seat derivative of the highly successful A-6 Intruder  medium  attack  aircraft.  Among  its features   are   a   computer-controlled   electronic surveillance  and  control  system  and  high-power jamming  transmitters  in  various  frequency  bands. The jamming transmitters are contained in pods mounted  externally  on  the  five  aircraft  pylons. Aircraft capabilities can be varied throughout the frequency  spectrum  by  varying  the  mix  of jamming  transmitters  on  the  aircraft. EA-6B Prowlers played an important role in the  joint  strike  on  Libyan  terrorist-related  targets in 1986. Working with Air Force EF-111 Ravens, Navy and Marine Corps Prowlers jammed Libyan air  defense  surveillance.  That  enabled  carrier- launched  Navy  A-6E  Intruders  and  land-based  Air Force  FB-111s  to  put  their  ordnance  on  target. An   EA-6B   improved-capability   (ICAP   II) aircraft  modernization  program  is  underway  to upgrade  the  entire  EA-6B  inventory.  The  first ICAP   II-equipped   EA-6B   squadron   provided flawless coverage for the joint USS Saratoga and Carrier Air Wing 17 HARM missile strike against Libya.  ICAP  II  includes  an  inertial  navigation system,   the   universal   exciter   jamming   pod, updated  displays,  and  the  ability  to  interface  with computerized  mission  planning  systems.  It provides  the  latest  equipment  to  meet  current  and projected  threats. P-3C  ORION.  —The  P-3C  is  a  land-based, long-range  antisubmarine  warfare  (ASW)  patrol aircraft.  It  has  advanced  submarine  detection sensors  such  as  the  directional  frequency  and ranging   (DIFAR)   sonobuoys   and   magnetic anomaly   detection   (MAD)   equipment.   The avionics  system  is  integrated  with  a  general- purpose  digital  computer.  This  computerized system  supports  all  of  the  tactical  displays  and monitors  and  automatically  launches  ordnance, while  providing  flight  information  to  the  pilots. In  addition,  the  system  coordinates  navigation information  and  accepts  sensor  data  inputs  for tactical display and storage. The P-3C can carry a  mixed  payload  of  weapons  internally  and  on wing  pylons. 12-5

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