Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems has been awarded a $3.17 billion contract modification by the U.S. Navy for the procurement of 24 full-rate production Lots 7-11 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye (AHE) tactical airborne early warning aircraft.
The modification was to definitize the previously awarded E-2D AHE Lot 7 advance acquisition contract to a multi-year fixed-price-incentive-firm contract. The contracting activity was the U.S. Department of Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). The contract also includes an option for nine additional Foreign Military Sales (FMS) aircraft. Production of the 24 U.S. Navy aircraft funded by the five-year contract is expected to be complete in 2026.
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the latest variant of the Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye, an American all-weather, carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft operated mainly by the U.S. Navy. It features an entirely new avionics suite including the new AN/APY-9 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, radio suite, mission computer, integrated satellite communications, flight management system, improved T56-A-427A engines, a glass cockpit and, by 2020, aerial refueling capability.
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 missiles 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,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and integrated product team leader, manned airborne surveillance programs, Northrop Grumman. “With this contract, we’ll continue production of these highly specialized aircraft while delivering innovative solutions that outpace advancing threats over the life of the fleet.
Under the current program of record Northrop Grumman has delivered 37 E-2D to the U.S. Navy to date, completing all major production milestones on time. In addition to the 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 refueling capability to significantly extend the aircraft’s endurance.