BETHPAGE, N.Y., 12 Feb. 2013. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has approved the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, designed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC) in Bethpage, N.Y., to enter full-rate production.
This news follows the release of a report in which U.S. Navy officials declared the E-2D operationally suitable and effective. The Navy’s decision is based on its 10-month initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) of the aircraft.
The IOT&E, a rigorous testing phase that every new system undergoes to determine that it is operationally effective and suitable for fleet introduction, was conducted by the U.S. Navy's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One. Successful completion of the IOT&E is a key factor leading to a full-rate production decision and a necessary step toward a multiyear procurement.
"An operationally suitable and effective rating confirms that the E-2D is a mature airborne early warning and battle management, command and control system, capable of providing critical force protection for carrier strike groups and coalition forces," says Bart LaGrone, vice president, E-2/C-2 programs, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
"With the Navy's E-2D program of record at 75 aircraft, this decision by OSD enables the production of the remaining 55 aircraft over the next 10 years and provides the opportunity for a cost-effective, multiyear procurement," LaGrone continues. "The entire Northrop Grumman-led E-2D industry team remains focused on providing the most capable and cost-effective airborne early warning and command and control solution to our customer."
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.
“I'm confident we will meet our ultimate goal to provide a capable and ready fleet with E-2Ds as we prepare for the first deployment in 2015," adds Capt. John S. Lemmon, E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office (PMA-231) program manager.