posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 11:33 AM
Something like this??
Common Support Aircraft (CSA)
The Common Support Aircraft (CSA) will serve as the Navy's carrier-based surveillance, control, and support aircraft for the 21st century, replacing
existing S-3B, ES-3A, E-2C, and C-2A aircraft. Envisioned as a single aircraft design, the CSA will be able to carry different mission suites of
sensors and avionics in order to fulfill future mission requirements and will possess significant capacity for logistics support and aerial refueling.
CSA will facilitate naval fires in the joint warfare battlespace with fuzed tactical data obtained from both on- and off-board sensors and with its
organic warfighting capability.
In 1993, a Naval Aviation study concluded that a "neckdown" of follow-on aircraft was the only affordable procurement strategy for future naval
aircraft. Current investments in E-2C production, ongoing C-2 service life extension, and service life extension plans for the S-3 and ES-3 aircraft
are needed to ensure that current airframes achieve the 2015 service life goal. Based on current fleet utilization rates and projected support
aircraft inventories, the CSA will require a 2012 initial operational capability at the latest. Efforts are being explored to determine if an
accelerated profile is feasible.