Defense Media Network

NAVAIR Fixed-Wing Aircraft Programs


F-16 Fighting Falcon

The F-16 was acquired in 1987-1988 to represent fourth-generation adversary aircraft. The Navy ordered 22 single-seat F-16Ns and four two-seat TF-16Ns, versions of the Block 30 F-16C/D with air combat maneuvering instrumentation and other changes. Though highly successful, airframe fatigue and funding issues grounded the fleet in 1994. In 2002, the Navy received 14 F-16A and B models from the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group that were originally intended for Pakistan. PMA-226 supports 10 F-16As and four F-16Bs operated by the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center.


C-2 Greyhound

The Grumman C-2A is well known as the Navy’s Carrier On-Board Delivery aircraft. It’s derived from the Grumman E-2 Hawkeye with which it shares a common wing, but it has a widened fuselage and a rear loading ramp. C-2As began entering the fleet in 1965 and went through an initial overhaul in 1973.

C-2A VRC-40

A C-2A Greyhound, assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40, approaches for landing on the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman George M. Bell

The E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office (PMA-231) manages the Greyhound fleet, and has overseen a recent service life extension program (SLEP) for the C-2A that includes structural wing improvements, adoption of an eight-bladed NP2000 propeller, navigational upgrades, and a Ground Proximity Warning System addition. The SLEP should allow 36 C-2s to operate until 2027.


C-12 Huron

The C-12 Huron is based on the Hawker-Beechcraft King Air 200/King 350 civilian private/commercial transport aircraft. Managed by PMA-207, the C-12 fulfills a variety of missions, from high-priority transportation for personnel and cargo to range clearance, courier flights, multi-engine pilot training, and testing.

NAVAIR oversees the operation of the UC-12B/F/M (King Air 200) and the more up-to-date UC-12W (King Air 350). The inventory includes 11 C-12Fs (Navy 7/Marine Corps 4), 11 C-12Ms (Navy 9/Marine Corps 2), and six C-12Ws operated by the Marine Corps. The inventory of UC-12Ws is expected to reach 12.


C-9 Skytrain

The C-9B Skytrain provides passenger and cargo transportation to the fleet and forward deployment logistics support. The aircraft is a specialized version of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 airliner. Modified with upper cargo doors, the C-9 can haul cargo, passengers, or a combination of   the two.

The Navy ordered its first five C-9Bs in April 1972 and retired its last aircraft in July 2014, replacing it with the C-40A. However, PMA-207 still manages two C-9Bs, which are operational with the Marine Corps.


C-20D/G Gulfstream

The Navy acquired the C-20D in 1987 to provide passenger and cargo airlift for military and government officials and dignitaries in particular. The popular Gulfstream III provided the basis for the C-20D and the Gulfstream IV for the C-20G. The C-20D variant features accommodations for passengers, while the C-20G variant may be configured for cargo operations, passenger operations, or a combination of the two. Both aircraft are capable of long-range, high-speed over-water flights.

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Eric Tegler is a writer/broadcaster from Severna Park, Md. His work appears in a variety...