E-2D Hawkeye: The Navy’s New AWACS
November 21/17: Foreign Sales-Milestone-First Flight Northrop Grumman has carried out the first flight of the first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye (AHE) early warning and surveillance aircraft it is building for Japan. Tokyo ordered an initial Hawkeye in 2014, followed by an additional example in August 2016, and will be added to a 13-strong E-2C fleet the Japanese Air Self Defense Forces have been operating since 1983. Both E-2Ds will be delivered next year and in the words of the company “further strengthens its ability to meet Japan’s evolving security and intelligence needs.”
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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