The third and fourth Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft for the Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) have arrived in Japan. the two E-2Ds (with serial numbers 473 and 474) were shipped to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in March 2020 but have yet to be formally received by the JASDF. Following assembly and some test flights at Iwakuni, the two aircraft, which belong to an initial batch of four, are set to be transferred to Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan where the JASDF’s 601st Squadron, which operates both E-2C and E-2D aircraft, is based.
Japan Air Self-Defence Force has operated the Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye since 1983 and is the largest E-2 operator outside the U.S. The E-2D delivers a two-generation leap in radar technology, allowing the aircraft to track threats at extended range. The aircraft can also be used in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capacity for civilian emergency coordination. The E-2D offers interoperability with next-generation aircraft systems and U.S. Navy allies to support regional security cooperation. To ensure long-term success of the Japan E-2D fleet, Northrop Grumman is providing continued support to JASDF in the areas of sustainment and maintenance, in coordination with several Japanese firms.
The Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye is an American all-weather, carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft. The E-2 also received the nickname “Super Fudd” because it replaced the WF (later E-1) “Willy Fudd”. The aircraft’s performance has been upgraded with the E-2B, and E-2C versions, where most of the changes were made to the radar and radio communications due to advances in electronic integrated circuits and other electronics. The fourth major version of the Hawkeye is the E-2D, which first flew in 2007. The E-2 was the first aircraft designed specifically for its role, as opposed to a modification of an existing airframe, such as the Boeing E-3 Sentry. Variants of the Hawkeye have been in continuous production since 1960, giving it the longest production run of any carrier-based aircraft.