Northrop Grumman’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and tactical data aircraft has officially joined the U.S. Navy fleet.
First to receive the operational aircraft is the Navy’s Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125 at Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field this week.
"This is a revolutionary jump in capabilities," said Capt. Todd Watkins, commander, Airborne Command Control and Logistics Wing. "The E-2D serves as the eyes of the fleet. If it's out there, we will see it."
The E-2D is the most technologically capable variant of the venerable E-2 airborne early warning command and control platform. It features state-of-the-art radar with a two-generation leap in capability and other upgraded systems which make it a multi-mission platform that can coordinate concurrent missions -- including airborne strike, rescue and ground force support -- which may arise during a single flight.
The Navy expects to acquire more than 70 of the planes through 2020.
The E-2D can fly at a speed of more than 300 knots and a ceiling of 37,000 feet.