Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships

Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye

Navy Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AEWC)

The Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye is the fourth major iteration of the classic AEWC platform debuted in 1964 with the United States Navy.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 4/24/2019
National Flag Graphic


Year: 2014
Status: Active, In-Service
Manufacturer(s): Northrop Grumman - USA
Production: 0
Capabilities: Airborne Early Warning (AEW); Navy/Maritime;
Crew: 5
Length: 57.74 ft (17.6 m)
Width: 80.58 ft (24.56 m)
Height: 18.31 ft (5.58 m)
Weight (Empty): 39,904 lb (18,100 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 57,541 lb (26,100 kg)
Power: 2 x Allison (Rolls-Royce) T56-A-427A turboprop engines developing 5,100 horsepower each and driving eight-bladed propeller units.
Speed: 404 mph (650 kph; 351 kts)
Ceiling: 34,777 feet (10,600 m; 6.59 miles)
Range: 1,684 miles (2,710 km; 1,463 nm)
Operators: Japan; United States
The Northrop Grumman E-2D "Hawkeye" twin turboprop-powered aircraft is a special-mission platform primarily operated by the United States Navy (USN) service aboard its powerful aircraft carriers. The type is an all-modern, upgraded Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) platform representing the fourth major iteration of the Hawkeye series that began in the 1960s with the E-2A of 1962 (59 units being built). These were then succeeded by the E-2B based heavily on the A-models but these conversions differed in being completed with improved computer processing systems and revised (enlarged) outer tail fins. The E-2C production run became E-2B platforms with modernized electronics, and enhanced search / surveillance functionality. Sixty-three of this mark were produced in all of which some were given upgraded turboprop engines.

Despite its Cold War-era origins, the Hawkeye platform remains a focal point in the United States Navy's intra-theater airborne defense capabilities concerning its carrier groups.

The E-2D model completed its first flight in March of 2007 - beginning what would become a protracted development period. Key changes to its design include all-new avionics for the new battlefield, all-new digital "glass" cockpit for the crew, more powerful, uprated turboprop engines, and an in-built air-to-air refueling capability. The radar has 360-degree, all-weather scanning (electronic and mechanical) capabilities while the Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) system has been enhanced. Electronic Support Measures has also been broadened and data / communications links modernized to go along with open architecture secured network compatibility.

Physically, the aircraft is little-changed in its appearance: its arrangement is still dominated by the large radome seated over the aft-dorsal spine of the fuselage. The pilots are seated side-by-side in the cockpit positioned aft of a short nosecone. The wing mainplanes are shoulder-mounted and of straight-lined design, each given an underslung turboprop engine driving eight-bladed propeller units. The tail unit incorporated a quad-finned plane arrangement and the horizontal sections are cranked upwards. A tricycle undercarriage (retractable) is used for deck-running and the usual USN aircraft fixtures, such as an arrestor hook and wing-folding, are present. As with other USN carrier-based combat platforms, the E-2D is launched by way of catapult and recovered by arrestor cable.

In USN service, the Hawkeye continues to provide real-time Battle Management Command (BMC) / battlespace awareness capabilities in the maritime environment, journeying ahead of the force to undertake assessment and provide a defensive buffer to potential attacks planned against the carrier group. Specialists aboard the aircraft manage various consoles and rely on the powerful suite of systems installed on their aircraft.

The E-2D series was introduced with USN forces on March 27th, 2014 through squadron VAW-125. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) was then had that October and first deployments occurred from USS Theodore Roosevelt in 2015. Some 75 total D-models are planned for procurement with four to five examples being featured on each primary USN aircraft carrier.

Program Updates

August 2016 - It was announced that Japan has ordered a second E-2D Hawkeye platform.

December 2017 - An E-2D "Advanced Hawkeye" completed its first aerial refueling action when it was refueled by an accompanying KC-130 tanker aircraft in testing. The Advanced Hawkeye form is slated to entered USN service sometime in 2020 and, among its many improvements, will be an in-flight refueling capability.

January 2019 - The Japan Ministry of Defense has earmarked funds for five upcoming fiscal years to procure up to nine Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye platforms.

April 2019 - The United States Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a five-year $3.2 billion contract to buy twenty-four E-2D Hawkeye platforms.


None. Mission equipment centered on radars, IFF systems, transponders, radio equipment, and SATCOM.

Variants / Models

• E-2D "Hawkeye" - Base Variant Designation; all-modern avionics suite with new engines and digital glass cockpit instrumentation; inherent air-to-air refueling capability.
Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map Site content ©2003-, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo