The first Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft for Japan made its maiden flight on 13 November.
The milestone, which was announced by the aircraft manufacturer two days later, took place at Northrop Grumman’s Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence in St. Augustine, Florida.
The Japanese Ministry of Defence (MoD) selected the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye in 2014 to help fulfill the nation’s AEW&C requirements, serving alongside the earlier model E-2C as well as the Boeing E-767 airborne warning and control systems (AWACS). Northrop Grumman began production in 2016 on the two aircraft so far contracted, with deliveries set to be complete by the end of 2018.
One operational with the Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF), the E-2D will augment the 13 E-2C aircraft and four E-767s already in service.
As the latest variant of the Hawkeye carrier-based E-2 AEW&C aircraft that has been in US naval service since the mid-1960s, the E-2D features the more powerful AN/APY-9 radar that is designed to provide 360° coverage against hostile aircraft and cruise missiles, as well as the in-flight refuelling capability.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihs.com/contact