By Courtney E. Howard
BETHPAGE, N.Y. - U.S. Navy officials awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. in Bethpage, N.Y., a $408 million contract to build three E-2D Advanced Hawkeye carrier-based airborne early warning and battle management command and control (AEW/BMC2) aircraft through 2010.
The E-2D may look similar to the E-2C Hawkeye from the outside, but Northrop Grumman engineers redesigned the electronics systems and expanded the capabilities of the Advanced Hawkeye.
A new radar, the APY-9, can detect smaller targets at greater distances than can the E-2C. The aircraft’s new rotodome provides continuous, 360-degree scanning via an electronically scanned array which also can focus on specific areas of interest.
“These advances provide warfighters with expanded situational awareness to compress the time between initial awareness and active engagement,” says Tom Vice, vice president of airborne early warning and battle management command and control programs-Navy, for Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems sector. “That is a huge technological accomplishment.”
The Advanced Hawkeye further boasts new radar system workstations, integrated satellite communications capabilities, and other battlespace-management utilities. Additionally, a state-of-the-art glass cockpit replaces Hawkeye displays and avionics systems in the E-2D.
“The E-2D is a revolutionary upgrade that gives the warfighter expanded battlespace awareness, especially in the area of information operations,” Vice continues. “The Advanced Hawkeye concentrates battle management, theater air missile defense, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities in one aircraft.”
Vice anticipates the Navy procuring at least 75 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. The E-2D will be manufactured at Northrop Grumman’s East Coast Manufacturing Center in St. Augustine, Fla., and delivered in 2010.
“We will be ready in 2011 to be the backbone of the network-centric Navy, providing what America needs well in to the middle of the century,” says Capt. Randy Mahr, NAVAIR’s Advanced Hawkeye program manager.
For more information, visit Northrop Grumman Corp. online at www.northropgrumman.com.