The French government has signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance covering a government-to-government sale of three E-2D ADVANCED HAWKEYE airborne C2 aircraft, contractor Northrop Grumman announced on 6 January.

The US Navy will now begin contract negotiations with Northrop Grumman for the three aircraft, nonrecurring engineering, spares, repairs and support equipment, training and follow-on support, within the congressional approval funding limit. The anticipated contract award will be in 2022, with aircraft delivery to France in 2028 at the latest.

The procurement of the E-2D ADVANCED HAWKEYE will provide France a generational leap in capability for unparalleled situational awareness for their air defense fleets,” commented Janice Zilch, VP, Manned Airborne Surveillance Programs at Northrop Grumman. “We have a long-standing relationship with France as it transitions to E-2Ds from a two-decade legacy of E-2C aircraft.”

The French Navy has operated the E-2C HAWKEYE since 1998 and is the only country other than the US to operate its E-2s from an aircraft carrier. This capability enables interoperability exercises that support HAWKEYEs from each other’s carrier flight decks. With the USN’s transition to E-2D squadrons, the French Navy intends to maintain interoperability and partnership.

The E-2D is the USN’s premier airborne C2 aircraft for all targets and all environments. It delivers advanced radar capability for unmatched detection and tracking. Additionally, it provides 360° simultaneous air and maritime surveillance, enabling nations to protect sea lanes, monitor coastlines and support civilian emergency coordination operations. The E-2D is a force multiplier for interoperability, reciprocal information-sharing and commonality across the battle force.

France will maintain a high degree of interoperability with the USN in procuring the E-2D. (Photo via Northrop Grumman)

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