A high wing, twin-engine monoplane cargo aircraft, designed to land on aircraft carriers.
The C-2A Greyhound provides critical logistics support to Carrier Strike Groups. Its primary mission is the transport of high-priority cargo, mail and passengers between carriers and shore bases. Powered by twin Allison T56-A-425 turboprop engines and Hamilton-Standard constant speed propellers, the C-2A can deliver a combined payload of 10,000 pounds over a distance in excess of 1,000 nm. The interior arrangement of the cabin can readily accommodate cargo, passengers and litter patients. Priority cargo such as jet engines can be transported from shore to ship in a matter of hours. A cargo cage system or transport stand provides restraint for loads during launches and landings.
The large aft cargo ramp/door and a powered winch allow straight-in rear cargo loading and unloading for fast turnaround. The C-2A's in-flight ramp open capability allows airdrop of supplies and personnel. Its on-board Auxiliary Power Unit provides engine-starting capability and ground power self-sufficiency in remote areas provides an operational versatility found in no other cargo aircraft.
The C-2A Greyhound is a derivative of the E-2 Hawkeye and replaced the piston-engine powered C-1 Trader in the Carrier On-board Delivery role. The C-2A shares wings, and empennage with the E-2 Hawkeye, but has a widened fuselage with a rear loading ramp. The first of two prototypes flew in 1964 and production began the following year. The original C-2A aircraft were overhauled to extend their operational life in 1973. In 1984, a contract was awarded for 39 new C-2A aircraft to replace the earlier airframes. Dubbed the Reprocured C-2A due to the similarity to the original aircraft, the new C-2A includes substantial airframe and avionic systems improvements. All the older C-2As were phased out in 1987, and the last of the new models was delivered in 1990.
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 Theatre commands. The C-2A also provided support to the Carrier Strike Groups during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and is presently supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
The aircraft is currently undergoing a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) to increase its operating service life from 15,020 landings and 10,000 flight hours to 36,000 landings and 15,000 flight hours. The changes being incorporated are; Structural Enhancements, aircraft Rewire, Avionics Systems improvements and a new propeller system. Additionally, as mandated by Congress and the Chief of Naval Operations, two passenger carrying safety requirements are being integrated into the C-2A. They are Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System and Terrain Awareness Warning System. The SLEP is necessary to make the C-2A a viable and economically maintainable platform until it is replaced.
Primary Function: Carrier On-board Delivery (COD) aircraft
Contractor: Grumman Corporation
Unit Cost: $38.96 million
Propulsion: Two Allison T56-A-425 turboprop engines; 4,600 shaft horsepower each
Length: 56 feet 10 inches (17.3 meters)
Height: 17 feet 2 inches (5.28 meters)
Wingspan: 80 feet 7 inches (24.56 meters)
Weight: Max. Gross, take-off: 57,500 lbs (26,082 kg)
Airspeed: Cruise - Approximately 260 knots true airspeed speed; Max - Approximately 343 knots
Ceiling: 30,000 feet (9,144 meters)
Range: 1,000 nautical miles (1150.77945 statute miles)