The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of France of three (3) E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2 billion. This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve security of a NATO ally which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe. The proposed sale will improve France’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing its Naval Air Forces with a sustainable follow on capability to their current, legacy E-2C Hawkeye aircraft. The E-2D aircraft will continue and expand French naval aviation capabilities and maintain interoperability with U.S. naval forces.
The Government of France requests to buy three (3) E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Aircraft, ten (10) T-56-427A engines (6 installed and 4 spares), three (3) AN/APY-9 radar assemblies, four (4) AN/ALQ-217 electronic support measure systems (3 installed and 1 spare), three (3) AN/AYK-27 Integrated Navigation Channels and Display Systems, five (5) Link-16 (MIDS-JTRS) Communications Systems (3 installed and 2 spares), ten (10) Embedded GPS/INS (EGI) Devices (6 installed and 4 spares), four (4) AN/APX-122(A) and AN/APX-123(A) Identification, Friend or Foe systems (3 installed and 1 spare) and one (1) Joint Mission Planning System. As a current E-2C operator, France will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and support into its armed forces. The principal contractor will be Northrop Grumman Systems Corp, Aerospace Systems, Melbourne, FL.
France Navy (Marine Nationale) is to order three Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft in 2020. The E-2C has been in French Navy service for more than 20 years and the Marine Nationale is looking at the new E-2D as the obvious replacement. The French Navy had been closely following the introduction of the E-2D into US Navy service, with the type to be adopted to replace the three E-2C Hawkeyes serving with Flottille 4F at Lann-Bihoué, near Lorient, in Brittany.The newer variant is fitted with an entirely new AN/APY-9 radar with combined electronic/mechanical-scanning capabilities, more powerful processors, and an improved man-machine interface with larger screens. The airframe and engines remain the same, however, which will help accelerate and facilitate the transition from the E-2C to the E-2D.
The French Navy Naval Aviation (Force maritime de l’aéronautique navale) Flottille 4F currently operates three E-2C Hawkeyes acquired from the United States acquired in 1998, 1999 and 2004. France Navy operates a single aircraft carrier, the Charles De Gaulle, which relies on similar steam based launch systems to the U.S. Nimitz Class supercarriers. It is the only Hawkeye operator with the United Sates to deploy the AEW aircraft from aircraft carriers. In the meantime, the three French E-2C will be mordernized and upgraded. Its scope is the modernization of weapons system, electronic warfare and IFF, as well as tactical consoles (2 sensors out of 3 are replaced), and obsolescence processing to meet the requirements of interoperability. Modernization work is carried out by the manufacturer Northrop Grumman, in France at AIA Cuers.