Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation gained a $3.6-billion contract from the U.S. Navy to deliver 25 new E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft, extending the total number of those aircraft now under contract to 50. Thirteen of the aircraft have been supplied to date, in a construction program developed originally to produce a total of 75 aircraft.
The new award is a fixed-price, incentive-fee contract that will stretch over several years. The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye has been in service since 2007, according to the Northrop, which designed and developed the aircraft
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is specifically designed as a carrier-based, airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system. Its distinctive design – a rotating rotodome and four vertical stabilizer tail configuration – provide 360-degree surveillance for strategic use in combat.
It is the only Dept. of Defense-designed and tested aircraft now in production for the AEW&C function, though it has undergone a significant revision from earlier E-2 models. This includes a more powerful radar system, exclusive to the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, that the OEM stated will allow pilots to "see" a greater number of targets at much greater distances. It also includes new avionics and a glass cockpit.
"The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the Navy's primary airborne early warning and battle management command and control platform," stated Navy Capt. John S. Lemmon, program manager for the E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office (PMA-231).
"I'm confident that as the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye attains initial operational capability later this year, the E-2D will continue to be ready, relevant and capable for decades to come and continue serving the Navy Carrier Strike Group with distinction," Lemmon added.
A Northrop Grumman representative said the multiyear program takes advantage of the company’s production capabilities, and saves procurement costs for the U.S. Navy and U.S. taxpayers.
Other program suppliers include Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics and Surveillance Systems (principal radar system supplier), Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Baltimore, and Raytheon's Space and Airborne Systems, El Segundo, California.
Rolls-Royce provides T-56-A engines for the aircraft, and BAE Systems is responsible for the “identification friend or foe” system.
L-3 Communications Randtron Antenna Systems, developed the ultra-high frequency electronically scanned array antenna.
"Since the first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye delivery in 2007, every aircraft has been delivered on schedule and on budget," according to Bart LaGrone, vice president, E-2/C-2 Programs. "It is this kind of proven program performance and partnership with our customer that results in a multiyear contract – validating that the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the right system at the right time for the right cost."