The C-2A Greyhound , twin-engine cargo aircraft designed to land on aircraft carriers, provides critical logistics support to aircraft carriers. Its primary mission is carrier on-board delivery. Powered by two T-6 turboprop engines, the C-2A can deliver a payload of up to 10,000 pounds. The cabin can readily accommodate cargo, passengers or both. It is also equipped to accept litter patients in medical evacuation missions.
Priority cargo such as jet engines can be transported from shore to ship in a matter of hours. A cage system or transport stand provides cargo restraint for loads during carrier launch or landing. The large aft cargo ramp and door and a powered winch allow straight-in rear cargo loading and downloading for fast turnaround.
The C-2A's open-ramp flight capability allows airdrop of supplies and personnel from a carrier-launched aircraft. This, plus its folding wings and an on-board auxiliary power unit for engine starting and ground power self-sufficiency in remote areas provide an operational versatility found in no other cargo aircraft.
The C-2A has a wide range of communications and radio navigation equipment that is compatible with both military and civil airways on a worldwide basis. Communications equipment includes HF, VHF, and UHF; radio navigation aids include GPS, OMEGA, TACAN, dual VOR, UHF/DF, LF/ADF, weather radar, Doppler radar, and two carrier approach systems. The crew consists of a Pilot, Copilot, Crewchief, and Loadmaster / Second Crewman.The original C-2A aircraft were overhauled, and their operational life extended, in 1973. In 1984, a contract was awarded for 39 new C-2A aircraft to replace earlier the airframes. Dubbed the Reprocured C-2A due to the similarity to the original, the new aircraft include substantial improvements in airframe and avionic systems. All the older C-2As were phased out in 1987, and the last of the new models was delivered in 1990. The C-2A(R) retains the characteristics of the E-2C Aircraft in the areas of structures, hydraulics, and power plants. The avionics block upgrades for the C-2A(R) provide increased reliability and maintainability. A limited development test was conducted on the C-2A(R), due to the minor differences to the previous C-2A. Development Test and Evaluation (DT&E) and Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) were previously completed on the original C-2A Production Acceptance Test and Evaluation on the C-2A(R) was performed by the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), Patuxent River, Maryland, from June 1985 to February 1986. The C-2A(R) provides tactical logistics support for deployed carrier battle groups. These aircraft have a 10,000 pound payload capacity and operate from forward area air stations in support of Atlantic and Pacific fleet operations. The aircraft's large aft door-ramp and powered winch promote a fast turnaround time via straight-in rear loading and unloading. Special missions have been developed which employ the C-2A. These missions include personnel, Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC), and air cargo drops. The CRRC drops entail disembarking a team of divers and their equipment while airborne. During the period November 1985 to February 1987, VR-24, operating with seven Reprocured C-2As, demonstrated exceptional operational readiness while delivering two million pounds of cargo, two million pounds of mail and 14,000 passengers in support of the European and Mediterranean theatres.
The C-2A is a Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) transport aircraft assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadrons (VRCs). Greyhounds serve 12 carriers from two primary locations:
- VRC-30, which is based at Naval Air North Island, CA and currently operates 12 C-2A aircraft throughout the Pacific and Central Commands, including two C-2A aircraft permanently forward deployed to Japan on the USS Kitty Hawk.
- VRC-40 is based at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
|Primary Function||Carrier-on-board delivery (COD) aircraft|
|Contractor||Grumann Aerospace Corp.|
|Unit Cost||$38.96 million|
|Propulsion||Two Allison T-56-A-425 turboprop engines; 4,600 shaft horsepower each|
|Length||57 feet 7 inches (17.3 meters)|
|Height||17 feet (5 meters)|
|Weight||Max. gross, take-off: 57,000 lbs (25,650 kg)|
|Cruising Speed||Max.: 300 knots (345 miles, 553 km, per hour)|
|Ceiling||30,000 feet (9,100 meters)|
|Range||1,300 nautical miles (1,495 statute miles)|
Sources and Resources
- C-2A Naval Training System Plan [PDF]
- C-2A Greyhound - Navy Historical Center
C-2A Greyhound logistics aircraft - United States Navy Fact File
- C-2A Greyhound - Military.com