The US Air Force will seek inputs on the programme to replace the legacy E-4B National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) system at an industry day to be held at Hanscom Air Force Base.

At the event scheduled for February 2020, the Government Program Office will brief industry about the plan to acquire the Survivable Airborne Operations Center (SAOC) Weapon System (WS) as a replacement for the ageing E-4B NAOC.

The E-4B is a key feature of the National Military Command System for the US President, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and Defence Secretary.

The aircraft is a militarised variant of the Boeing 747-200 and it is intended to provide a secure and survivable command, control and communications centre in the event of national emergency.

The E-4B fleet includes four aircraft that are nearing the end of their service life.

In a pre-solicitation notice released on 4 December, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Battle Management office said: “The SAOC Program Management Office (PMO) intends to conduct Pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) activities to ensure success in the EMD phase of the acquisition process.

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“To facilitate effective communication, the SAOC PMO will start with releasing information to industry and conducting several industry days.”

The SAOC Mission systems will feature modern communications, networks, and advanced command and control (C2) subsystems.

The aircraft will be based on a new, commercial derivative aircraft (CDA), the notice said.

Interested organisations are invited to reply to the notice by 20 December.