U.S. Navy and allies extend support contract for E-2C/D 'Hawkeye' aircraft

Northrop Grumman has been given $25 million to continue support for its venerable E-2C/D "Hawkeye" aircraft for the US Navy and US allies.
Christopher McFadden
Japan Air Self-Defense Force Northrop Grumman E-2C "Hawkeye."


According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Northrop Grumman has received an extension to its contract to provide the United States Navy (USN) with "sustainment and technical support" for their venerable E-2C/D "Hawkeye" reconnaissance aircraft fleet. Valued at around $25 million, the contract will also extend to the navies of France, Japan, Taiwan, and Egypt.

"Work will be performed in Melbourne, Florida (59.9%); Misawa, Japan (22.6%); Dayton, Ohio (4.4%); St. Augustine, Florida (4.3%); and various locations within the continental U.S. (8.8%), and is expected to be completed in April 2026. Foreign Military Sales customer funds [for] $14,384,000 will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity," explains the press release.

The United States Navy primarily utilizes the E-2 "Hawkeye," a carrier-based airborne early warning aircraft. Its primary purpose is to provide airborne command and control for naval forces, serving as the "eyes in the sky" for the fleet.

The E-2 "Hawkeye" is equipped with a powerful radar system to detect incoming threats at long ranges and provide early warning to naval commanders. It also has sophisticated communications equipment that allows it to relay information between ships and aircraft in the fleet and with other units in the more extensive military network.

In addition to its primary role as an airborne early warning platform, the E-2 "Hawkeye" can be used for surveillance, search and rescue, and other missions. Its versatility and ability to operate from aircraft carriers make it a valuable asset to the U.S. Navy and its allies.

First built in the 1970s, over 180 deliveries went to the USN, and another 30 were delivered to other countries. The US Naval Reserve also has six E-2C Hawkeye aircraft on standby for homeland security and drug interdiction missions. The fuselage was created with carrier operations in mind. The wings fold hydraulically to lie flat in the fuselage for storage in the hangar. The tailplane is composite material to reduce radar signature, and the fuselage is light metal.

The Block II aircraft, which had a better engine and radar, went into service in 1992; the last was delivered in 2001. The next-generation E-2D "Advanced Hawkeye" incorporates a tactical glass cockpit from Northrop Grumman Navigation Systems, a new radar system, theater missile defense capabilities, and multi-sensor integration.

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