In a pair of successful proof-of-concept demonstrations, the Marine Corps integrated a Marine air-ground task force's primary air surveillance radar with the Navy's cooperative engagement capability (CEC) system to cue ships at sea.
The demos strengthen the Corps' case for buying CEC systems, but they also raise provocative questions about exactly how the Corps would employ it-and whether evolving Marine Corps aviation command-and-control doctrine has something to teach the other services.
Cooperative engagement enables participating ships, aircraft, and ground units to share a composite picture of target tracks compiled from the sensor data available among them. The Navy's system will go on Aegis cruisers and destroyers, aircraft carriers, and amphibs (LHDs, LHAs, LSDs, and LPD-17s). E2C aircraft are getting an airborne variant.