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Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye

Navy Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AEWC) [ 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.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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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.


Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States

In Active Service.


National flag of France National flag of modern Japan National flag of the United States France (ordered); Japan; United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Specially-equipped platform providing over-battlefield Command and Control (C2) capability for allied aerial elements.
Equipped to actively deny adversaries the ElectroMagnetic (EM) spectrum and protect said spectrum for allied forces.
Land-based or shipborne capability for operating over-water in various maritime-related roles while supported by allied naval surface elements.

57.7 ft
(17.60 m)
80.6 ft
(24.56 m)
18.3 ft
(5.58 m)
Empty Wgt
39,904 lb
(18,100 kg)
57,541 lb
(26,100 kg)
Wgt Diff
+17,637 lb
(+8,000 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Northrop Grumman E-2D production variant)
Installed: 2 x Allison (Rolls-Royce) T56-A-427A turboprop engines developing 5,100 horsepower each and driving eight-bladed propeller units.
Max Speed
404 mph
(650 kph | 351 kts)
34,777 ft
(10,600 m | 7 mi)
1,684 mi
(2,710 km | 1,463 nm)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Northrop Grumman E-2D production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
None. Mission equipment centered on radars, IFF systems, transponders, radio equipment, and SATCOM.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft anti-radar/anti-radiation missile

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
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.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye
Image from the United States Navy.

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