Northrop Grumman announced the first carrier landing of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, on the USS Harry S. Truman. In addition, the Pentagon has now authorized an additional 10 aircraft, following a successful Defense Acquisition Board review.
Northrop Grumman has delivered five aircraft to date, with another five in production. Initial operational test and evaluation of the type is scheduled to begin later this year.
The U.S. Navy has stated a requirement for 75 aircraft over the next decade, to replace the existing E-2C fleet. Compared with that aircraft, the E-2D offers greater range, plus better system performance overland and in littoral areas, according to the U.S. Navy program office.
Unlike other AEW (airborne early warning) aircraft, the E-2D combines electronic and mechanical scanning of the antenna of its Lockheed Martin APY-9 radar. Northrop Grumman has made this versatility a key selling point in export campaigns in India and the UAE. The aircraft also features upgraded displays, ESM systems and net-centric communications.