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NAVAIR Fixed-Wing Aircraft Programs

PMA-207 manages one C-20D for the Navy and two C-20Gs – one each for the Navy and Marine Corps. A further three C-20Gs are in service with the Naval Reserve.



The C-37A and B are also Gulfstream-based executive transports used for global airlift. Acquired in the early 2000s, the C-37A represents the military version of the Gulfstream V and the C-37B is a version of the Gulfstream 550 aircraft. PMA-207 provides support for one C-37A and three C-37Bs.

e-6b mercury

A U.S. Navy E-6B Mercury airborne command post flies over Solomons Island, Maryland. The aircraft provides airborne command, control, and communications. U.S. Navy photo

C-26 Metroliner

In the late 1990s, the Navy sought an efficient transport for high-priority resupply and personnel movement to remote, un-serviced, or feeder sites. The Air Force had already acquired a batch of C-26Bs for light logistical support and transferred six of these to the Navy, which re-designated them as C-26Ds.

The C-26D is the military version of the Fairchild Metroliner 23 commercial light-lift aircraft. The twin-turboprop incorporates a cargo door with an integral air-stair door. Two additional variants, RC-26D/EC-26D support range operations at Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Hawaii.

PMA-207 manages an inventory of four C-26Ds, two RC-26Ds, and one EC-26D.


C-38 Courier

Providing Test and Evaluation Support, acting as a chase aircraft and airborne radar target is the tasking for the C-38 Courier, a derivative of the Gulfstream G100 (formerly Astra SPX). Two C-38s came under PMA-207 management in 1997. The pair has seen use as chase aircraft for P-8A, E-2D, MQ-4C, E-6B, and C-130 testing among others.

p-3c orion

A Navy P-3C “Orion” aircraft, assigned to the “War Eagles” of Patrol Squadron One Six (VP-16) flies by during a check flight in 2002. The P-3C is a multi-mission aircraft providing Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW) capabilities. U.S. Navy photo by Paul Farley.

C-40 Clipper

The C-40 Clipper replaced the C-9 in the on-demand fleet supply role known as Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift missions. Derived from the ubiquitous Boeing 737-700C airliner, the C-40A can be operated in all-passenger (121), all-cargo (eight pallets), or mixed passenger/cargo configurations (70 pax/three pallets).

The first C-40s joined Naval Reserve squadrons in 2001 and PMA-207 now oversees a fleet of 12 aircraft, which is projected to grow to 17.


E-6B Mercury

In Navy operations the E-6A replaced the EC-130Q, relaying National Command Authority instructions to fleet ballistic missile submarines, a mission known as TACAMO (Take Charge And Move Out). Based on the 707-320, the E-6 joined the fleet in 1989.

The E-6B is a modification of the E-6A and can perform either the E-6A mission or the airborne strategic command post mission. It is equipped with an airborne launch control system capable of launching land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. The E-6B became operational in 1998. PMA-271 manages and supports the E-6B fleet, which is 16 aircraft strong.



The Lockheed P-3 Orion is based on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner first introduced in 1962. Its long-range, anti-submarine warfare mission has broadened to include battlespace surveillance and anti-surface warfare.

The P-3C variant entered service in 1969 and has undergone numerous upgrades to the baseline Update III version and Block Modification Upgrade with improved acoustic sensing. An Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program includes sensors, communications, displays, and weapons capability enhancements.

PMA-290 manages the P-3C fleet (approximately 114 aircraft) and ongoing analysis of fatigue data under the Fatigue Life Management Program. The NAVAIR office also manages the EP-3E Aries (a converted P-3A) that carries out the multi-intelligence reconnaissance mission including tactical signals intelligence and full motion video. Some 16 EP-3Es are currently in the fleet.


UC-35 Citation

The UC-35 is based on the Cessna Citation. The UC-35C is a Citation V Ultra and the UC-35D a Citation Encore. Having entered service in 1999, it serves as a utility transport and is managed by PMA-207, which oversees two UC-35Cs and 10 UC-35Ds.


Training Aircraft

Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems also falls under the auspices of NAVAIR, where PMA-273 supports seven trainer aircraft types for the Chief of Naval Aviation Training. They include the T-45, T-6/JPATS, T-44, T-34, TC-12, TH-57, and T-39, as well as related simulator suites, academic materials, and computer-based training integration systems.



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