WATCHING 2 E6B MERCURY MILITARY AIRCRAFT UP ON BOTH COASTS TONIGHT USING ADSB EXCHANGE. ALL ABOUT THIS AIRCRAFT: The Boeing E-6 Mercury (formerly E-6 Hermes) is an airborne command post and communications relay based on the Boeing 707-320. The original E-6A manufactured by Boeing's defense division entered service with the United States Navy in July 1989, replacing the EC-130Q. It conveyed instructions from the National Command Authority to fleet ballistic missile submarines (see communication with submarines), a mission known as TACAMO (TAke Charge And Move Out). The E-6B model deployed in October 1998 kept this role, but added further command post capabilities and the ability to remotely control Minuteman ICBMs using the Airborne Launch Control System. The E-6B replaced Air Force EC-135Cs in the "Looking Glass" role, providing command and control of U.S. nuclear forces should ground-based control become inoperable. With production lasting until 1991, the E-6 was the final new derivative of the Boeing 707 to be built.
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