From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|A U.S. Navy E-2C Hawkeye flies over NAS Point Mugu, California, during a training exercise.|
|Type||Airborne early warning, command and control|
|Manufacturer||Northrop Grumman, originally Grumman Aerospace Corporation|
|Primary users||United States Navy
Israeli Air Force
Japan Air Self-Defense Force
|Unit cost||US$51 million|
The Grumman E-2 Hawkeye is an all-weather, aircraft carrier-based tactical Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft nicknamed "Super Fudd" because it replaced "Willy Fudd", (the E-1 Tracer). In the present day, it is most commonly nicknamed the "Hummer" due to the distinctive sound of its twin turboprop engines.
In United States service, the Hawkeye provides all-weather airborne early warning and command and control functions for the carrier battle group. Additional missions include surface surveillance coordination, strike and interceptor control, search and rescue guidance and communications relay. An integral component of the carrier air wing, the E-2C uses computerized sensors to provide early warning, threat analyses and control of counteraction against air and surface targets. It is a high-wing aircraft with stacked antennae elements contained in a 24 foot (7.3 m) rotating dome above the fuselage.
The continuous improvements in early airborne radars by 1956 led to the concept of an airborne early warning and command and control aircraft. The first aircraft to perform this mission was the Grumman E-1 Tracer (a variant of the S-2 Tracker anti-submarine aircraft), which saw service from 1954 to the 1970s. The E-1's successor, the E-2 Hawkeye, was the first carrier-based aircraft designed from the outset for the all-weather airborne early warning and command and control function. Since replacing the E-1 in 1964, the Hawkeye has been the "eyes of the fleet." Since its combat debut during the Vietnam conflict, the E-2 has served the US Navy around the world. Hawkeyes (from VAW-123 "Screwtops" aboard the USS America) directed F-14 Tomcat fighters flying combat air patrol during Operation El Dorado Canyon, the two-carrier battle group joint strike against terrorist-related Libyan targets in 1986. More recently, E-2Cs provided the command and control for successful operations during the Persian Gulf War, directing both land attack and combat air patrol missions over Iraq and providing control for the shoot-down of two Iraqi MiG-21 aircraft by carrier-based F/A-18s in the early days of the war. E-2 aircraft also have worked extremely effectively with U.S. law enforcement agencies in drug interdictions.
The original E-2C, known as the Group 0, became operational in 1973 and has been through several upgrade programs since then. The first of these was the E-2C Group I which replaced the older APS-125 radar and T56-A-425 engines with the improved APS-139 and T56-A-427. This version was soon followed by the further improved Group II which now featured the APS-145 radar. The Group II has been incrementally upgraded with new navigation systems, displays and computers culminating in the E-2C Hawkeye 2000 variant (sometimes referred to as Group III, although the term is no longer used as an official designation). The Hawkeye 2000 features the APS-145 radar with a new mission computer and CIC (Combat Information Center) workstations (Advanced Control Indicator Set or ACIS), and carries the US Navy’s new CEC (cooperative engagement capability) data-link system. It is also fitted with a larger capacity vapor cycle avionics cooling system. A variant of the Group II with the upgrades to the mission computer and CIC workstations is referred to as the MCU/ACIS. Some Group II aircraft have had their 1960's vintage computer-processors replaced by a mission computer with the same functionality but built using more modern computer technology. This is referred to as the GrIIM RePr (Group II Mission Computer Replacement Program, pronounced "grim reaper").
Hawkeye 2000s first deployed in 2003 aboard Nimitz with VAW-117 “Wallbangers” and CVW-11. The US Navy Hawkeyes are now being upgraded with eight bladed props as part of the NP2000 program; the first squadron to cruise with the new propellers was VAW-124 “Bear Aces”. The latest version can track 2,000 targets simultaneously (while at the same time, detecting 20,000 simultaneously) to a range greater than 400 miles (650 km) and simultaneously guide 40 - 100 intercepts.
In late 2006, the US announced that it intended to sell three P-3C Orions equipped with the E-2C Hawkeye 2000 system to the Pakistan Navy. These aircraft will provide Pakistan with search surveillance, and control capability in support of maritime interdiction operations.
The latest variant, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, is currently under development. It will feature an entirely new avionics suite, including a new radar (with an electronically-scanned array), radio suite, mission computer, flight management system, improved engines and the ability to refuel in-flight. The E-2D will include provisions for either pilot to act as a Tactical 4th Operator, and have access to the full range of mission functions available to the CIC crew. First flight is expected in 2007, with Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2011.
- Republic of China: Republic of China Air Force
- Egypt: Egyptian Air Force
- France: Aviation Navale - The only operator other than the US Navy to employ Hawkeyes on board aircraft carriers.
- Israel: Israeli Air Force - Former operator, 3 of 4 Israeli Hawkeyes were sold to Mexico. One in museum
- Japan: Japan Air Self-Defense Force
- Mexico: Mexican Navy
- Singapore: Republic of Singapore Air Force
- United States: US Navy
 Specifications (E-2 Hawkeye)
- Crew: 5 (2 pilots, 3 naval flight officers - combat information center officer, air control officer, radar operator)
- Length: 57 ft 7 in (17.56 m)
- Wingspan: 80 ft 7 in (24.58 m)
- Height: 18 ft 4 in (5.58 m)
- Wing area: 700 ft² (65 m²)
- Empty weight: 37,678 lb (17,090 kg)
- Loaded weight: 55,000 lb (23,391 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 55,000 lb (23,391 kg)
- Powerplant: 2× Allison T56-A-425 or -427 turboprop, 5100 hp (-427) (3,800 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 375 mph (604 km/h)
- Range: 1,605 mi (2,583 km)
- Service ceiling: 30,800 ft (9,390 m)
- Rate of climb: 2,515 ft/min (13 m/s)
- Wing loading: 72.7 lb/ft² (355 kg/m²)
- Power/mass: 0.19 hp/lb (0.32 kW/kg)
 External links
- (French) Marine nationale - Hawkeye - Alabordache E2C Hawkeye : News, photographs, ...
- (French) E2C Hawkeye : Galerie de photos (NetMarine): gallery of photographs of the French Hawkeye (including photographs of the cockpit.)
- Navy.mil: E-2C Hawkeye
- GlobalSecurity.org E-2 article
- Advanced Hawkeye promises quantum leap in US Navy's AEW capability (extract) 30 June 2006
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