BETHPAGE, N.Y., 12 Feb. 2013. Northrop Grumman's (NYSE:NOC) E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft has been approved to enter full-rate production by the office of the secretary of defense (OSD). This decision follows a report where the E-2D was declared operationally suitable and effective, following a successful 10-month initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) conducted by the U.S. Navy.
The test, which was conducted by the U.S. Navy's air test and evaluation squadron one, was a rigorous phase of testing that every new system undergoes to determine that it is operationally effective and suitable for fleet introduction. A successful IOT&E is a key factor that leads to a successful full-rate production decision and is a necessary step leading to a multiyear procurement.
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The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is an all-weather, aircraft carrier-capable airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft. It was based off the E-2 Hawkeye, with the E-2D featuring a new avionics suite with the APY-9 radar, integrated satellite communications capability, improved turboprop engnies, a tactical glass cockpit, and air-to-air refueling capability.
To date, Northrop Grumman has delivered nine E-2Ds to the U.S. Navy on or ahead of schedule, with another 11 aircraft in various stages of manufacturing and pre-delivery flight testing. Initial operational capability with the U.S. Navy remains on track for 2015.