The US Navy has taken delivery of its first of 75 Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye AEW&C aircraft at a ceremony at NAS Oceania near Norfolk, Virginia.
The E-2D is an improved version of the venerable E-2C, and features a new AN/APY-9 radar in a redesigned 7.3m diameter radome with an electronically scanned array, and enhanced communications and datalinks that allow it to be integrated with ship borne Aegis weapons systems.
“The E-2D is ready, relevant and capable,” Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, said at the acceptance ceremony. “It’s going to be a game changer with information dominance for the US Navy. I am very pleased today to accept delivery of the first E-2D to enter the US Navy fleet.”
Two more pilot production E-2Ds will be delivered this year followed by several low rate production examples in 2011. Full rate production is expected to commence in 2012.