Navy Considering Marine CAC2S System for Amphibs to Exploit Strike Fighter’s Capabilities

F-35Bs conduct flight operations aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp. Navy officials say the service is considering installing a modern Marine Corps command and control system on amphibs to take advantage of the F-35’s capabilities. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker

QUANTICO, Va. — Navy officials said the service is considering installing a modern Marine Corps command and control system on large-deck amphibious assault ships. 

“The Navy is looking to purchase CAC2S [Common Aviation Command and Control System] and put those on L-class ships so that they can do some of the same things we do on L-class ships the CAC2S can pull down off an F-35. It will help build situational awareness for the SWOs [surface warfare officers] on the ship,” said Col. Kurt Schiller, director, Air Combat Element/Maritime Expeditionary Warfare Division in the Capabilities Development Directorate, speaking at a panel discussion sponsored by the Amphibious Warfare Industrial Base Coalition at the Modern Day Marine expo at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.  

CAC2S, built by General Dynamics Mission Systems, provides a complete and coordinated modernization of Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS) equipment. 

CAC2S provides the MAGTF Aviation Combat Element with the hardware, software and facilities to effectively command, control and coordinate air operations integrated with naval, joint and/or combined C2 units. 

CAC2S is made up of standardized modular and scalable tactical facilities, hardware and software to significantly increase battlefield mobility and reduce the physical size and logistical footprint of the MACCS.  

“The F-35B brings extraordinary situational awareness capability,” Frank DiGiovanni, deputy director, Expeditionary Warfare, said during the panel discussion. “The CAC2S that the colonel was talking about brings the ground common operational picture to the ship and to the rest of the Navy.”