NWSA2822. Navy plans multi-role airframe

     WASHINGTON (NWSA) -- The Navy plans to replace some of
its aging carrier-based aircraft with a multi-role airframe.
In a recent industry briefing, the service announced that
the carrier-based E-2C airborne early warning aircraft, C-2
carrier-onboard-delivery [COD] planes, ES-3A electronic
intelligence aircraft and S-3B anti-submarine planes would
be succeeded by an aircraft with a 50-year design.
     The plane will show up on carrier flight decks in the
next century and Sailors who are responsible for them will
find it easier than caring for their current aging charges.
     LCDR Jim Sweeney, Assistant CSA requirements officer,
says Sailors who maintain the C-2s and others will notice a
big change.
     "A good analogy is the difference in maintenance
levels," he says. "It'll be similar to moving from working
on F-4s and A-7s to working on Hornets. The CSA will be
easier to maintain."
     Sweeney adds that they're trying to "build an airplane
which will reduce maintenance costs and man-hours, and make
the job in the hangars easier."
     If the proposed plan is carried out, the Navy will
purchase nearly 300 of the multi-role airframe to carry out
it's many missions at sea.