Sierra Nevada Bags $13 Billion U.S. Air Force “Doomsday Plane” Contract

The new aircraft will replace the earlier airborne command center, E-4B.
  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 05:49 AM, April 27, 2024
  • 2002
Sierra Nevada Bags $13 Billion U.S. Air Force “Doomsday Plane” Contract
E-4B airborne command center aircraft

Sierra Nevada Corp was awarded a $13,080,890,647 contract to develop a Survivable Airborne Operations Center (SAOC) aircraft to replace the E-4B, known as the Doomsday plane due to its ability to operate during a nuclear war.

Boeing, which had earlier developed the 70s era E-4B, was eliminated from the competition, according to Reuters report in January 2024. While a Pentagon contract announcement said the contract was a competitive acquisition, and two offers were received; it did not name the losing bidder.

This contract provides for the development and production of the SAOC Weapon System to include the delivery of development aircraft, associated ground systems, production aircraft, and interim contractor support.

The program will replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of four E-4B planes, known as Nightwatch or the National Airborne Operations Center, a Sierra Nevada press release said.

Work w is expected to be completed by July 10, 2036. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and two offers were received. Fiscal 2024 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $59,000,000 are being obligated at time of award,  a U.S. DoD press release said. 

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