Mönch US correspondent Marty Kauchak is attending the 2018 Surface Navy Association 30th Annual National Symposium in Arlington, Virginia/USA. He files this end of day report with highlights from the exhibition floor and conference rooms.
As of this January, Northrop Grumman has delivered 32 E-2D Advanced HAWKEYEs to the US Navy. Four additional E-2Ds will be delivered this year.
A major enhancement in progress is the US Navy’s E-2D aerial refuelling programme. Jane Bishop, Vice President and Program Manager of the E-2/C-2 Program at Northrop Grumman, added: “We have completed modifications on three aircraft for developmental testing and are scheduled to deliver two additional modified aircraft for operational testing in 2018. Production cut-in and retrofit plans are scheduled to begin in 2019. These modifications include installation of the fixed-fuel probe and plumbing, formation lighting and long-endurance seats, as well as flight control software and hardware changes.”
Since the first in-flight fuel transfer in July 2017 with a KC-130, the E-2D has successfully received fuel from a KC-135 STRATOTANKER and most recently the F/A-18 Super HORNET. The industry programme manager continued: “In partnership with the navy and the US Air Force, we will continue in-flight fuel transfer tests with additional aircraft, including the KC-10 EXTENDER.”
Northrop Grumman is also achieving success with Japan’s E-2D Advanced HAWKEYE programme, with first flight for the nation's initial E-2D completed last 9 October. In 2018, Nortrop Grumman is continuing to conduct mission systems flight testing on the first E-2D for Japan. The E-2D will augment Japan's current fleet of 13 E-2C aircraft and expand its advanced airborne early warning and surveillance capabilities.
Ms. Bishop further updated MONS on key industry team members and their responsibilities for the US Navy E-2D programme as well as Japan's E-2D programme. “Among our key industry team members for the E-2D are Lockheed Martin, L3 Communications, Raytheon and BAE Advanced Systems, who provide sensor systems and technologies; Rolls-Royce, who provides one engine; and Potez, who provides structural components.”
Ms. Bishop concluded; “The Northrop Grumman is committed to providing our Navy customer with increased operational capability to better support the warfighter. Aerial refuelling will enable extended range and mission time for E-2D Advanced HAWKEYE.”