NextGen "Eye In The Sky" Includes New Radar, Glass Cockpit
Aero-News has learned the first Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced
Hawkeye, built for the US Navy by Northrop Grumman, made its first
public appearance at rollout ceremonies April 30. The E-2D was
designed in New York, and built in St. Augustine, FL.
The new E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, in development by Northrop
Grumman since 2001 and unveiled on April 30, has been the US
Navy’s number one aviation priority. It will make its first
flight this summer.
Rear Admiral Pete Williams called the new aircraft a
"game-changer for the warfighter" during Monday's rollout. Williams
is the Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft with Naval
Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD.
The aircraft unveiled Monday is the first of two test aircraft
to be built under the nearly $2 billion system demonstration and
development contract awarded in 2001 to Northrop Grumman. According
to Mahr, the Navy plans to procure a total of 75 Advanced Hawkeye
While the E-2D's external appearance is similar to the E-2C, the
systems and capabilities are completely redesigned. At the heart of
the aircraft is the new radar, the APY-9, designed and built by
Lockheed Martin Corporation. It can "see" smaller targets and more
of them at greater ranges than the E-2C.
The new rotodome, developed by L-3 Communications Randtron
Antenna Systems, contains the critically important, continuous,
360-degree scanning capability, while adding an electronically
scanned array. This system allows operators to focus the radar on
selected areas of interest.
Hawkeye operators will have new radar system workstations,
integrated satellite communications capabilities and other tools to
better manage the battle space and provide warfighters with
expanded situational awareness and information to complete their
An additional new feature of the E-2D is the state-of-the-art
glass cockpit that replaces prior-generation Hawkeye displays and
avionics systems. One of the advantages is that pilots can also
serve as weapon system operators.
The Navy and Northrop Grumman team will begin flight testing
this fall in St. Augustine, with further testing at Patuxent River
Naval Air Station, MD. Navy squadrons will be equipped with
Advanced Hawkeyes as they are delivered beginning in 2011.