Japan has signed for the last of four Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft it is expected to procure, the US Department of Defense (DoD) disclosed on 5 September.
The original equipment manufacturer was awarded USD164.3 million to deliver one nationally configured E-2D to Japan by March 2020. The contract follows similar awards made in November 2015, July 2016, and June 2018 for the first three aircraft. To date, Japan has spent almost USD945 million on its E-2D procurement programme, including non-recurring engineering and infrastructure.
With the first Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) aircraft having been rolled out from Northrop Grumman’s Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence in St Augustine, Florida, in November 2017, deliveries are set to commence before the end of 2019.
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.
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