Northrop Grumman was awarded a $49.9 million contract by the US Navy for long-lead parts and associated support for the production of two E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.
The aircraft are expected to be completed by December 2023 and will be funded with fiscal 2019 procurement funds, according to a Department of Defense notice online. Some 29% of the work on the aircraft will be performed in Syracuse, New York; another 29% will be performed in El Segundo, California; 14% will be done in Melbourne, Florida; 7% will be done in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and the rest spread throughout the country.
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the USN’s carrier-based airborne early warning, battle management, command, and control aircraft. The turboprop aircraft is able to take off using an aircraft carrier catapult and carries on its back a large, disk-like radar that has the ability to track threats at long ranges.
The USN says it intends to buy 75 of the type in total. So far, it has 33 in service already and 18 on order, according to Flight Fleet Analyzer.
In fiscal year 2020, the USN plans to achieve initial operating capability for aerial refueling on the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. Currently, the aircraft are limited to five hours of flight time, so aerial refueling will allow carrier groups a longer duration of surveillance.
In September, the US State Department approved a foreign military sale of nine E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft to the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, bringing the total number aircraft the country intends to acquire to 13.