Egypt Requests 2 Used E-2Cs
On Oct 19/07, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced [PDF] Egypt’s formal request for 2 used E-2C Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Command & Control aircraft, 2 excess spare T56-A-425 engines, modifications, support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical data, maintenance, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics technical support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $75 million.
Now, that order appears to have been followed by an upgrade request…
The prime contractor will be Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation in Bethpage, NY. There are no offset agreements associated with this potential sale and no additional U. S. Government or contractor personnel will be needed in country. DSCA adds:
“This sale is consistent with these U.S. objectives and with the 1950 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. The Government of Egypt requires additional E-2C aircraft to strengthen AEW surveillance and enhanced command, control, and communications capabilities within its defense network. These aircraft will ensure enhanced fleet communications and interoperability.”
June 27/08: Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in Bethpage, NY received a $38 million firm-fixed-price delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00421-05-G-0001) to upgrade an E-2C Aircraft (A-119) from the current Group II configuration to a Hawkeye 2000 export configuration in support of the Egypt E-2C Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in St. Augustine, FL (70%) and Bethpage, NY (30%), and is expected to be complete in June 2010. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD manages the contract. See also NGC’s Aug 12/08 release.
The Hawkeye 2000 (HE2K) upgrades add the 8-bladed NP2000 propeller, replace the old computer platform with commercial-standard computer component upgrades; and add associated electronics, power, and maintainability modifications, including integrated satellite communications. All of these upgrades pale, however, in comparison to the effectiveness boost offered by adding Co-operative Engagement Capability (CEC), which lets the aircraft see everything CEC-equipped ships in its task group can see – and vice-versa. It is not known whether Egypt’s “export configuration” Hawkeye 2000s have CEC capabilities, as Egypt’s navy and military lack many of the systems required to use this effectively. Hawkeye 2000 aircraft were first deployed in 2003 aboard USS Nimitz, and other customers besides Egypt include France, Japan & Taiwan.
All of Egypt’s 6 E-2C Hawkeyes are in the process of upgrading to Hawkeye 2000 configuration, which was expected to be complete in late 2008. It was always very likely that Egypt’s October 2007 request for 2 more E-2Cs would also be followed by conversions; this order appears to be the first.