Bethpage NY (SPX) May 18, 2009
In the blue skies over St. Augustine, Fla., Northrop Grumman's E-2D Advanced Hawkeye System Development and Demonstration program aircraft recently reached its 1,000th hour of flight testing. The aircraft, currently in flight testing at Northrop Grumman's East Coast Manufacturing and Flight Test Center, continues to successfully meet, or exceed, all major program and performance milestones.
"This is a significant milestone for Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy, and it is a testament to our company's continued commitment to strong program performance and to meeting our contractual obligations to our customers," said Tom Vice, sector vice president of the Battle Management and Engagement Systems Division for the company's Aerospace Systems sector.
"We know the value that the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye will bring to our carrier fleets. It is the next generation of force protection for those in our Navy who lead our global force projection on the open seas."
Program officials say the joint Advanced Hawkeye team has made great progress since its first flight in August 2007.
"This is just one of many milestones we have achieved over the past year and a half and it's due to the hard work and dedication of the entire team," said Jim Culmo, Northrop Grumman vice president of Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management Command and Control Programs.
Culmo said the E-2D pilot production continues ahead of schedule on the first three aircraft, and radar long-range detection performance is exceeding expectations. "We are looking forward to the aircraft's transition to NAS Pax River later this year as we enter the carrier suitability testing phase," he added.
While a revolutionary weapons system today, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is built upon Northrop Grumman's strong legacy of providing world-class airborne early warning and control (AEW and C) capability to the U.S. Navy for nearly 60 years and to its international customers for more than two decades.
With the advent of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, carriers will have expanded situational and battlespace awareness to support them on today's and tomorrow's mission.
"With surface detection to 200 miles, air detection beyond 250 miles, and the ability to communicate data and information to decision makers ashore and afloat, as well as individual aircraft and ships carrying on the fight, the improvements are significant," Culmo said.
While the external appearance of the E-2D is similar to the E-2C, the systems and capabilities contained in the E-2D have been completely redesigned.
"The aircraft, which was designed using open architecture, ensures the aircraft is equipped with the most up-to-date, leading-edge mission tools. It also features a fully integrated state-of-the-art glass cockpit," Culmo added.
At the heart of the new E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the completely new, more powerful radar, the AN/APY-9, designed and built by a radar team led by Lockheed Martin. "It represents a two-generational leap in radar technology. The AN/APY-9 can see smaller targets and more of them at a great range than currently fielded radar systems," he added.
Developed and fielded for the U.S. Navy, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye will provide maritime domain awareness including airspace control for manned and unmanned assets, monitoring of surface movements, civil support, and command and control of tactical forces.
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