E-2D Hawkeye: The Navy’s New AWACS
November 02/17: Northrop Grumman announced the successful first refueling of its E-2D Hawkeye early warning aircraft. The milestone was reached during a four hour flight on July 14 of this year, where the crew performed 10 dry plugs and two wet plugs with the help of a US Navy KC-130 tanker. Awarded in 2013, the aerial refueling contract was granted to give the US Navy the capability and flexibility to conduct missions over four hours. The aerial refueling system modification contains several sub-system upgrades to accommodate the refueling capability including adding the fuel probe plumbing, formation lighting, long-endurance seats, as well as flight control software and hardware changes.
Northrop Grumman’s E-2C Hawkeye is a carrier-capable “mini-AWACS” aircraft, designed to give long-range warning of incoming aerial threats. Secondary roles include strike command and control, land and maritime surveillance, search and rescue, communications relay, and even civil air traffic control during emergencies. E-2C Hawkeyes began replacing previous Hawkeye versions in 1973. They fly from USN and French carriers, from land bases in the militaries of Egypt, Japan, Mexico, and Taiwan; and in a drug interdiction role for the US Naval Reserve. Over 200 Hawkeyes have been produced.
The $17.5 billion E-2D Advanced Hawkeye program aims to build 75 new aircraft with significant radar, engine, and electronics upgrades in order to deal with a world of stealthier cruise missiles, saturation attacks, and a growing need for ground surveillance as well as aerial scans. It looks a lot like the last generation E-2C Hawkeye 2000 upgrade on the outside – but inside, and even outside to some extent, it’s a whole new aircraft.
From E-2A Hawkeyes to the E-2D
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye: Program
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye: Contracts & Key Events
FY 2006 and Earlier
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