Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye

France Awards $2 Billion Order for Three E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes

Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, approved on November 4, 2020 the acquisition of three E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and command aircraft. Managed by the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), this acquisition will be made under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement with the US government. The three E-2D aircraft ordered for the French Navy will be adapted to French needs by the integration of a specific computer, developed by the Industrial Service of Aeronautics (SIAé), which will guarantee the capability for autonomous development of the system. They will replace the three earlier E-2C Hawkeyes currently in service.

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.

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An E-2D Advanced Hawkeye prepares to land on USS Gerald R. Ford's (CVN 78) flight deck during flight operations on May 10, 2020.
An E-2D Advanced Hawkeye prepares to land on USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) flight deck during flight operations on May 10, 2020.

The Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye is an American all-weather, tactical airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft. This twin-turboprop aircraft was designed and developed during the late 1950s and early 1960s by the Grumman Aircraft Company for the United States Navy as a replacement for the earlier, piston-engined E-1 Tracer, which was rapidly becoming obsolete. The E-2 also received the nickname “Super Fudd” because it replaced the WF (later E-1) “Willy Fudd”. In recent decades, the E-2 has been commonly referred to as the “Hummer” because of the distinctive sounds of its turboprop engines. Smaller numbers of E-2s have been sold to the armed forces of Egypt, France, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, and Taiwan.

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 latest E-2 version is the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, which features an entirely new avionics suite including the new AN/APY-9 radar, radio suite, mission computer, integrated satellite communications, flight management system, improved T56-A-427A engines, a glass cockpit and later changes should enable aerial refueling by 2020.

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