Northrop Grumman has been awarded a multi-year contract modification to deliver an additional 24 E-2D ADVANCED HAWKEYE aircraft to provide early warning capability to the US Navy (USN). The fixed-price-incentive-firm contract is valued at $3.2 billion and includes an option for nine additional foreign military sales (FMS) aircraft. Production of the 24 USN aircraft funded by the five-year contract is expected to be complete in 2026.

The E-2D is the USN’s airborne early warning and command and control (AEW&C) system. The carrier-based aircraft provides expanded battlespace awareness for carrier strike groups. Its two-generation leap in radar technology allows the E-2D to work with ship-, air- and land-based combat systems to track and defeat air, ship and cruise missile targets at extended range. The aircraft can also be used in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capacity for civilian emergency coordination.

“This aircraft continues to demonstrate its strategic value to our warfighters with early warning, command and control,” commented the company’s Vice President, Manned Airborne Surveillance Programs, Jane Bishop. “With this contract, we’ll continue production of these highly specialised aircraft while delivering innovative solutions that outpace advancing threats over the life of the fleet.”

Under the current programme of record, Northrop Grumman has delivered 37 E-2D to the USN to date, completing all major production milestones on time. In addition to production and sustainment of the E-2D, Northrop Grumman will deliver a series of capability upgrades. The third upgrade is slated for release in fall 2019 and includes an aerial refuelling capability to significantly extend the aircraft’s endurance.

An aerial refuelling capability, scheduled to be added to the ADVANCED HAWKEYE this year, will significantly extend the aircraft’s endurance, according to Northrop Grumman. (Photo: USN)

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