Northrop moves Advanced Hawkeye to production

The Navy hopes to improve its network-centric warfare and battle management capabilities under a $408 million pilot production contract awarded to Northrop Grumman Corp.

Northrop will produce the next three E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and battle management command and control aircraft for the Navy from 2007 to 2010.

The first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye development aircraft, known as Delta One, is slated to fly in late summer, with the second SD&D aircraft scheduled for its first flight later in 2007. This contract is a follow-on to the $2 billion System Development and Demonstration Contract awarded in 2003.

"The E-2D is a revolutionary upgrade that gives the warfighter expanded battlespace awareness, especially in the area of information operations," said Tom Vice, vice president of Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management Command and Control Programs ? Navy, for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector.

The Navy plans to procure at least 75 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, all of which will be built at Northrop Grumman's East Coast Manufacturing Center in St. Augustine, Fla.

While the external appearance of the E-2D is similar to the E-2C, the systems are completely redesigned and the capabilities are expanded. At the heart of the aircraft is the new radar the APY-9, which can see smaller targets and more of them at a greater range.

Inside the aircraft, Advanced Hawkeye operators will have new radar system workstations, integrated satellite communications capabilities and other tools to better manage the battlespace.

Northrop Grumman of Los Angeles ranks No. 3 on Washington Technology's 2007 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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