US Navy’s airborne ‘digital quarterback’ aircraft

“The E-2D gives the warfighter expanded battlespace awareness, especially in the area of information operations delivering battle management, theater air and missile defense, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities in an airborne system.”

There are an estimated total of 51 of those aircraft out there today that were produced by Northrop Grumman through a series of contracts starting from June 2013 to January 2022. In fact, on January 21, 2022, Northrop Grumman successfully delivered the 51st U.S. Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye production aircraft, the AA-52.

“With a two-generation leap in radar sensor capability and a robust network enabled capability, the Advanced Hawkeye delivers critical, actionable data to joint forces and first responders. These advances provide warfighters with the necessary situational awareness to compress the time between initial awareness and active engagement,” further states Northrop Grumman.

Previous contracts to deliver the aircraft include a $113.7 million contract for five full-rate production Lot 2 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft for June 2013, a $617 million contract for five E-2Ds until full-rate production Lot 1 in August 2013, and a $3.6 billion contract to supply 25 more E-2D in August 2014.

Notable developments in the introduction of the aircraft include the first time an E-2D flew fitted with an aerial refueling capability in December 2016, allowing the aircraft to double its time on station to five hours and increase total mission time from four to seven hours.

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