Northrop Grumman has performed the first flight of Japan's E-2D Advanced Hawkeye early warning and surveillance aircraft.

Completed in early October from the US airframer's facility in St Augustine, Florida, the milestone was announced by the company on 15 November.

E-2C Japan

Northrop Grumman

Tokyo's defence ministry selected the E-2D in 2014 to meet the Japan Air Self Defence Force's requirement for airborne early warning aircraft.

It initially ordered a solitary example, doubling its commitment in August 2016. Both aircraft are scheduled to be handed over next year.

Japan currently operates a fleet of 13 older C-model Hawkeyes.