BETHPAGE, N.Y., July 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has given Northrop Grumman an advanced acquisition contract for long-lead materials for five full-rate production E-2D Hawkeyes.
The five tactical early warning aircraft will be part of Lot 2 production and bring the Navy fleet of ordered Hawkeyes to 30 of a planned acquisition of 75.
Northrop Grumman has so far delivered nine of the planes to the Navy and 10 others are in various stages of manufacturing or pre-delivery flight testing. The advanced E-2D is expected to gain initial operational capability with the Navy in 2015.
"This contract award, along with OSD's (Office of the Secretary of Defense) full rate production decision, is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the entire E-2D team to deliver on its promise of a mature, capable and effective E-2D Advanced Hawkeye," said Bart LaGrone, vice president, E-2/C-2 programs, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
"In today's challenging defense budget environment, it is imperative that we remain focused on providing the U.S. Navy with a more affordable airborne early warning, command and control solution.
The contract for long-lead materials and related support is worth $113.7 million.