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Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye

Navy Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AEWC)

United States | 2014

"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 | Last Edited: 12/02/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

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.

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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.

October 2019 - France is set to order four E-2D Hawkeye AEW aircraft for its navy service. The service has operated the E-2C "Hawkeye 2000" version with the 4 Flotile.

March 2020 - Development and testing continues on an upgraded radar for the E-2D.

June 2020 - The U.S. State Department has approved the same of three E-2D Hawkeye maritime AEW aircraft to the nation of France.

December 2020 - The French have formally ordered three E-2D Advanced Hawkeye platforms for over-water work.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Northrop Grumman E-2D Navy Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AEWC).
2 x Allison (Rolls-Royce) T56-A-427A turboprop engines developing 5,100 horsepower each and driving eight-bladed propeller units.
404 mph
650 kph | 351 kts
Max Speed
34,777 ft
10,600 m | 7 miles
Service Ceiling
1,684 miles
2,710 km | 1,463 nm
Operational Range
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Northrop Grumman E-2D Navy Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AEWC).
57.7 ft
17.60 m
O/A Length
80.6 ft
(24.56 m)
O/A Width
18.3 ft
(5.58 m)
O/A Height
39,904 lb
(18,100 kg)
Empty Weight
57,541 lb
(26,100 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye Navy Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AEWC) .
None. Mission equipment centered on radars, IFF systems, transponders, radio equipment, and SATCOM.
Notable series variants as part of the Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye family line.
E-2D "Hawkeye" - Base Variant Designation; all-modern avionics suite with new engines and digital glass cockpit instrumentation; inherent air-to-air refueling capability.
E-2D "Advanced Hawkeye" - Alternative designation / name.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Northrop Grumman - USA
National flag of France National flag of modern Japan National flag of the United States

[ France (ordered); Japan; United States ]
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Image of the Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye
Image from the United States Navy.

Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye Navy Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AEWC).
Going Further...
The Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye Navy Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AEWC) appears in the following collections:
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