Northrop Grumman has successfully completed the first flight of an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye equipped with Aerial Refueling (AR). Under a 2013 Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) contract award, Northrop Grumman designed, developed, manufactured, and tested several sub-system upgrades necessary to accommodate an aerial refueling capability.
«The Northrop Grumman aerial refueling team continues to put outstanding effort into bringing this much-needed capability to the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and our warfighters who rely on it», said Captain Keith Hash, program manager, E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office (PMA-231).
The aerial refueling capability will allow the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye to provide longer on-station times at greater ranges, extending its mission time to better support the warfighter.
The upgrades installed to support aerial refueling include probe and associated piping, electrical and lighting upgrades, and long endurance seats that will enhance field of view in the cockpit and reduce fatigue over longer missions.
«First flight is an exciting day in the journey from concept to an aerial refueling equipped E-2D», said Jane Bishop, vice president, E-2/C-2 programs, Northrop Grumman. «This takes the E-2D to another level, which will bring more combat persistence to the U.S. and our allies».
The aerial refueling program will modify three aircraft for testing planned through 2018. Production cut-in and retrofit plans are scheduled to begin in 2018.
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is a game changer in how the Navy will conduct battle management command and control. By serving as the «digital quarterback» to sweep ahead of strike, manage the mission, and keep our net-centric carrier battle groups out of harms way, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the key to advancing the mission, no matter what it may be. 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.
Hardware with system characteristics that provides:
- Substantial target processing capacity (>3,000 reports per second)
- Three highly automated and common operator stations
- High-capacity, flat-panel color high-resolution displays
- Extensive video type selection (radar and identification friend/foe)
- HF/VHF/UHF and satellite communications systems
- Extensive data link capabilities
- Inertial navigational system and global positioning system navigation and in-flight alignment
- Integrated and centralized diagnostic system
- Glass Cockpit allows software reconfigurable flight/mission displays
- Cockpit – 4th tactical operator
- Open architecture ensures rapid technology upgrades and customized configuration options
|Wingspan||80 feet 7 inch/24.56 m|
|Width, wings folded||29 feet 4 inch/8.94 m|
|Length overall||57 feet 8.75 inch/17.60 m|
|Height overall||18 feet 3.75 inch/5.58 m|
|Diameter of rotodome||24 feet/7.32 m|
|Weight empty||43,068 lbs/19,536 kg|
|Internal fuel||12,400 lbs/5,624 kg|
|Takeoff gross weight||57,500 lbs/26,083 kg|
|Maximum level speed||350 knots/403 mph/648 km/h|
|Maximum cruise speed||325 knots/374 mph/602 km/h|
|Cruise speed||256 knots/295 mph/474 km/h|
|Approach speed||108 knots/124 mph/200 km/h|
|Service ceiling||34,700 feet/10,576 m|
|Minimum takeoff distance||1,346 feet/410 m ground roll|
|Minimum landing distance||1,764 feet/537 m ground roll|
|Ferry range||1,462 NM/1,683 miles/2,708 km|
|Power Plant||2 × Rolls-Royce T56-A-427A, rated at 5,100 eshp each|
|In-flight refueling||12 hours|