Japan has received initial US approval to acquire up to a further five Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, via a deal worth a potential $1.38 billion.

Disclosed by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 7 March, Tokyo’s prospective purchase could eventually boost to 18 the number of Advanced Hawkeyes operated by the Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF).

Japanese E-2D

Source: Viper-Zero/Shutterstock

Tokyo already has four Advanced Hawkeyes in active service

A deal would include up to five Rolls-Royce T56-engined E-2Ds with associated equipment, plus spare parts and support services, the DSCA says.

“The proposed sale will improve Japan’s ability to effectively provide homeland defence utilising an AEW&C capability,” the agency adds.

Cirium fleets data shows that the JASDF currently flies four E-2Ds, aged between three and five years, while the service will receive another nine via a $1.4 billion Foreign Military Sales contract signed in September 2019.

Japanese E-2C

Source: US Air Force

The JASDF also has 13 older-model E-2Cs in service

The operator also has 13 older-model E-2Cs in active use, with Cirium data showing these as aged between 29 and 40 years.