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US State Department Approves Sale of E-2C Hawkeye Sustainment Items and Services to France

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US State Department Approves Sale of E-2C Hawkeye Sustainment Items and Services to France

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French Navy E-2C Hawkeye Airborne early warning and control
French Navy E-2C Hawkeye Airborne early warning and control

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of France of E-2C Hawkeye sustainment items and services for an estimated cost of $160 million. The Government of France has requested to buy additional non-MDE E-2C Hawkeye sustainment items and services that will be added to a previously implemented case. The original FMS case, valued at $99.6 million, included E-2C Hawkeye sustainment support. Therefore, this notification is for E-2C Hawkeye sustainment support, to include an Engine Component Improvement Program (CIP); software updates; technical publications; U.S. Government, and contractor technical/product support/assistance; and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye is an American all-weather, carrier-capable 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 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. Variants of the Hawkeye have been in continuous production since 1960, giving it the longest production run of any carrier-based aircraft.

French Navy E2-C Hawkeye Conducts 1st Operational Airborne Early Warning Flight over Romania
French Navy E-2C Hawkeye Airborne early warning and control. (Photo by Marine Nationale)

In addition to U.S. Navy service, smaller numbers of E-2s have been sold to the armed forces of Egypt, France, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Singapore and Taiwan. Grumman also used the basic layout of the E-2 to produce the Grumman C-2 Greyhound cargo aircraft. The fourth major version of the Hawkeye is the E-2D, which first flew in 2007. The E-2C and E-2D Hawkeyes use advanced electronic sensors combined with digital computer signal processing for early warning of enemy aircraft attacks and anti-ship missile attacks, controlling the carrier’s combat air patrol (CAP) fighters, and secondarily for surveillance of the surrounding sea and land for enemy warships and guided-missile launchers and any other electronic surveillance missions as directed

The French Naval Aviation (Aeronavale) operates three E-2C Hawkeyes and has been the only operator of the E-2 Hawkeye from an aircraft carrier besides the U.S. Navy. The French nuclear-powered carrier, Charles de Gaulle, currently carries two E-2C Hawkeyes on her combat patrols offshore. The third French E-2C Hawkeye has been upgraded with eight-bladed propellers as part of the NP2000 program. In April 2007, France requested the purchase of an additional aircraft. The Flottille 4F of the French Navy’s Aeronavale was stood up on 2 July 2000 and flies its E-2C Hawkeyes from its naval air station at Lann-Bihoue, deploying to the Charles de Gaulle. French Minister of the Armed Forces, announced that three new E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes would be purchased to replace the E-2Cs in service.

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