The Naval Air Systems Command today announced that the Advanced Hawkeye, the Navys next carrier-based tactical battle management, airborne early warning and command and control aircraft, will officially be designated the E-2D.
A follow-on to the E-2C Hawkeye 2000 in combat service today, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye will serve as a key node in network centric operations, and will play a vital role in the Navys transformational Sea Strike and Sea Shield operating concepts. Currently under development by NAVAIR and the Advanced Hawkeye industry team, the E-2D is expected to have an initial operating capability in 2011.
Advanced Hawkeye will build on the E-2Cs current network centric capabilities, plugging into the global information grid that will connect resources in and outside of the theater of battle. The Navy will employ the E-2D for maritime, littoral and overland operations.
Advanced Hawkeye will benefit from a new, higher-power rotating UHF radar antenna, the ADS-18 electronically scanned array. The E-2Ds longer detection range and smaller target discrimination will extend the platforms traditional roles to include theater air missile defense.
Other advances in the E-2D design include a tactical cockpit with three 17-inch LCD primary flight displays; navigation systems upgrades; an improved communications suite; advanced combat information center and mission data processing; and the digitally controlled NP2000 eight-bladed rotor system.
The first version of the E-2C Hawkeye, which has already seen four expansions of its capabilities prior to Advanced Hawkeye, became operational in 1973. In the 1980s, Hawkeyes directed naval aviation forces flying combat air patrol during strikes against terrorist-related Libyan targets. In the 1990s, E-2s provided airborne command and control for successful coalition air operations during Operation Desert Storm, Operations Northern and Southern Watch over Iraq, and NATO operations over the former Republic of Yugoslavia.
Recently in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, E-2 Hawkeyes provided critical airborne battle management and command and control functions supporting close air support and battlefield air interdiction missions.
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye will be a powerful resource in the Navys transformational Sea Strike offensive capabilities, increasing battlespace awareness, improving detection and tracking, and shortening the link between sensor and shooter for more agile response to time-sensitive targets. At the same time, the Advanced Hawkeye will cast a protective umbrella over air, sea and land forces, serving as a crucial pillar in the Sea Shield construct.
NAVAIR provides advanced warfare technology through the efforts of a seamless, integrated, worldwide network of aviation technology experts. From professional training to carrier launch; from sensor data to precision targeting; from aircraft and weapons development to successful deployment; from real-time communication to aircraft recovery, NAVAIR provides dominant combat effects and matchless capabilities to the American warfighter.