E-2D Advanced Hawkeye’s enhanced CEC will
bolster the Navy’s net-centric fire-control capabilities
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
Quality Fire Control
CEC is incorporating the Joint
Land-Attack Cruise Missile Defense
Elevated Netted Sensor System, an
Army tethered aerostat balloon
equipped with over-the-horizon
early warning sensors and data
links. It also is being included in the
Marine Corps’ Composite Tracking
Raytheon began developing CEC
more than 20 years ago under a small
contract from the Johns Hopkins
University Applied Physics Laboratory. An operational CEC was deployed in 1998 in ships of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
carrier battle group. The initiative has evolved into a $2
billion program for the company.
The shipboard CEC system — the USG- 2 — is installed
on six aircraft carriers, eight amphibious assault ships, and
more than 30 cruisers and destroyers. The airborne version — the USG- 3 — equips approximately 30 E-2C aircraft. Since CEC is not yet installed fleetwide, the Navy
deploys CEC-equipped carriers and E- 2 aircraft together
as a matter of practice to maximize their operational effectiveness. The Navy expects to field CEC to a total of 250
ships and aircraft over the next 10-15 years.
The improved CEC systems developed by Raytheon
now are being installed on fleet units. The USG-2A,
which features a lower-cost antenna and redesigned
environmental control unit, was installed in 2008 on
the new Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Sterrett.
The upgraded airborne version, the USG-3A, features
a new signal data processor that is smaller and less expensive, and a new antenna that also is less expensive, reducing the overall cost of a CEC system for the E-2D by about
one-third, Speake said. Cost details were not disclosed.
The electrical power required to operate the system
also has declined by 40 percent.
Speake said additional changes to the system’s signal
data processor are being made, such that by the time
Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) systems slim down for
service in advanced platforms.
■ Raytheon is building lighter, more capable CEC systems for the
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye.
■ The E-2D’s radar will expand horizons for Navy counter-air fire
■ E-2D development is on track for 2011 service.
When the Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
carrier-based radar warning aircraft becomes
operational in 2011, it will carry improved versions of the systems that give it the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), the sensor and shooter network
that is the foundation of the Navy’s air-defense capability.
CEC — developed by Raytheon — has been deployed
for a decade in many of the Navy’s ships and E-2C
Hawkeyes. CEC equipment maintains — in real time
through a highly jam-resistant C-band data-distribution
network — target track symbology on displays in all participating units, fusing the data into a single integrated
air picture. The tracks are of high enough quality to provide fire-control solutions, enabling one unit to confidently fire on tracks detected by sensors of another unit.
“CEC is the linchpin for network-centric warfare for the
Navy,” said Pat Speake, Raytheon’s director of Joint Sensor
Networking. “It provides the exact same picture at the
exact same time with the exact same [identification]; a fire-control quality picture to everyone in the [strike] group.”
CEC is one pillar of the Navy Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) concept, designed to defend joint
forces at sea and over land from aircraft and cruise missiles. The other pillars are the Aegis Weapon System,
deployed on cruisers and destroyers; the Standard surface-to-air missile; and the F/A- 18 strike fighter.