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NEW PICS: E-2D Preps for First Deployment


The U.S. Navy last week celebrated 50 years of service by the E-2 Hawkeye airborne command and control aircraft by declaring initial operaitonal capability on the latest model, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. Made by Northrop Grumman, the E-2D features a new Lockheed Martin AN/APY-9 radar mounted atop the aircraft in its 24 ft. round radome. 

Unlike its predecessor sensor in the E-2C, the -D model's radar will operate in UHF, which is geared to identify and track small targets over land and at sea. "The most demanding requirement was to be able to detect small targets in an overland environment," says Lee Lilly, senior business development manager for the radar system segment at Lockheed Martin. The legacy APS-145 was optimized for at-sea operations. UHF is particularly useful against stealthy targets with low radar cross sections.

The radar is designed for three modes of operation: advanced airborne early-warning surveillance (uniform 360-deg coverage); enhanced sector surveillance and enhanced tracking in a sector. 

IOC covers the first five E-2Ds in VAW-125 based at Norfolk Naval Base, Virginia; the unit is slated to deploy on the USS Theodore Roosevelt next year. The Navy is buying 10 squadrons worth of aircraft plus extra for testing, training and attrition reserve. 

The Navy plans to buy 75 E-2Ds in a $19.9 billion program. The last E-2C is slated to leave service in 2027. 

Below are some new photos of the E-2D recently shot near Norfolk by the Navy's MC1 (SW/AW) Ernest R. Scott.






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