Northrop Grumman has announced it is to offer its battle management, command-and-control (C2) expertise for the US Navy’s E-XX take charge and move out (TACAMO) programme.

The programme aims to recapitalise the existing fleet of TACAMO aircraft with a new E-XX platform based on the military variant of the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.

The E-XX aircraft is being developed to provide secure connectivity between the US’ National Command Authority and Navy’s ballistic submarine fleet which can deliver nuclear weapons.

All such missions and duties are currently being performed by the US Navy’s E-6B Mercury aircraft fleet.

The E-6B helps in facilitating survivable, reliable and endurable airborne command, control and communications between the country’s strategic and non-strategic forces and National Command Authority.

As per the latest announcement, Northrop Grumman is planning to support this programme by providing its battle management and weapon systems integration expertise to modernise this critical strategic deterrent capability.

Northrop Grumman multi-domain C2 programmes vice-president Janice Zilch said: “Our extensive experience integrating aircraft and mission systems, combined with our expertise in creating operationally ready solutions in support of the nuclear enterprise, makes Northrop Grumman the optimal partner to deliver the navy’s E-XX TACAMO weapon system.

“As we’ve demonstrated with the navy’s E-2 programmes, we have been a long-time partner in helping the navy meet its operational requirements. We will bring this expertise in helping the navy deliver the E-XX TACAMO on time and optimised for this strategically important mission.”

The company has already supported the development, production and modification of E-2 Hawkeye aircraft as a principal contractor.

Northrop Grumman multi-domain C2 capture programmes director Henry Cyr said: “Our team has vast knowledge and expertise in delivering critical C2, and nuclear enterprise capabilities.”

In April 2022, a risk reduction contract was awarded to Collins Aerospace for the development of a very low frequency communication system for the E-XX programme.