PMA-265, the F/A-18 and EA-18G Program Office, is responsible for acquiring and sustaining the Growler. A 2015 contract with Boeing for 15 additional EA-18Gs will bring the fleet to approximately 130 aircraft. PMA-265 is also managing the first two Growlers inducted into the Royal Australian Air Force, which are temporarily at NAS Patuxent River to certify Australian-specific software.
The P-8A Poseidon is replacing the P-3C Orion as a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platform, which will work in conjunction with Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle. Derived from the Boeing 737-800ERX airliner, the P-8 offers greater payload capacity, higher operating altitude, open systems architecture, and better sensors than its predecessor.
The first P-8 was delivered to the Navy in 2012, it achieved IOC in 2013, and is expected to be fully operational by 2018-2019. PMA-290 manages the P-8 fleet, which stands at about 35 aircraft. The Navy expects to buy 117 P-8s, and NAVAIR will oversee Increment 2 upgrades, including high-altitude anti-submarine weapons, and Increment 3, which is to provide net-enabled anti-surface warfare. In early 2016, PMA-290 awarded Boeing a two-year, $2.5 billion contract to manufacture 20 P-8As for the U.S. Navy and the government of Australia followed by a three-year, $276.2 million contract to produce an additional two Lot III P-8As.
The E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office (PMA-231) is responsible for providing the E-2C Hawkeye and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye with acquisition, logistics, and sustainment. The Northrop Grumman Hawkeye provides airborne early warning, airborne battle management, and command and control functions for a carrier strike group and joint force commander.
The E-2C became operational in 1973 and was subsequently improved through Group I, Group II, and Hawkeye 2000 updates that modernized information processing systems, radars, workstations, structure, and propulsion elements.
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye began development in 2002, attained IOC in 2012, and is in full-rate production. It features state-of-the-art radar with a two-generation leap in capability and upgraded aircraft and information-link systems. The Navy will acquire 73 E-2Ds through 2022.
C/KC-130 Hercules/Super Hercules
The Navy and Marine Corps operate three versions of the Lockheed C-130, which are managed by PMA-207. The aircraft perform a range of missions, from land-based tactical airlift support to aerial refueling.
The Marine Corps acquired the KC-130T beginning in 1983 as a multi-role aircraft, capable of aerial refueling, ground refueling, and delivery of personnel and cargo. The Marine Corps began replacing/augmenting the KC-130T with the new KC-130J in 2004. The advanced, digitized Super Hercules serves the Marines as an aerial refueler, cargo hauler, and transport. KC-130Js equipped with the Harvest HAWK modular weapons system can perform as multi-sensor image reconnaissance and close air support platforms, capable of launching Hellfire missiles and standoff precision-guided munitions.