Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft in February are to join forward deployed forces as part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 in Japan, the US Navy (USN) announced on 5 January.
As part of wider Pentagon efforts to 'rebalance' towards the Asia-Pacific region, the navy is sending to Japan its Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, the first such unit to transition from the older E-2C to the E-2D. VAW-125 will be based at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni and is replacing VAW-115, a squadron equipped with E-2Cs that is moving to California in mid-2017 to eventually transition to the D-model, the navy said.
CVW-5's fixed-wing aircraft, including the VAW squadrons, are moving from Naval Air Facility Atsugi to MCAS Iwakuni.
The USN plans to field 75 E-2Ds in total (Japan has ordered two platforms as well) and deliveries are scheduled to run through 2025 with the C-model to begin retiring this year.
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