Japan has ordered its first Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system aircraft, through a foreign military sale valued at $151 million.
Announced on 12 November, the order for Japan will fit into the US Navy’s 25-aircraft, $3.6 billion multi-year contract for the E-2D that was signed in June 2014. The Japanese deal is contracted by the US Naval Air Systems Command, and is due to be complete by 2018.
In June, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the approved potential sale of four E-2Ds under a $1.7 billion deal, but Japan only allocated funding for one of the type in its January defence budget announcement.
Tokyo requested a total of four aircraft, 10 engines – eight installed, plus two spares – and four Lockheed Martin APY-9 radars and associated spare parts, logistics and support.
“The proposed sale of E-2D AHE [Advanced Hawkeye] aircraft will improve Japan’s ability to effectively provide homeland defence utilising an AEW&C capability,” the DSCA said at the time. “Japan will use the E-2D AHE aircraft to provide AEW&C situational awareness of air and naval activity in the Pacific region and to augment its existing E-2C Hawkeye AEW&C fleet.”
The Japan Air Self-Defence Force has 13 E-2Cs in service, which range between 22 and 34 years in age, Flightglobal’s Fleets Analyzer database shows. The the USN has 18 E-2Ds in service, with 33 more on order.