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Pentagon budget 2024: US Navy seeks R&D funds for E-2 Hawkeye upgrade

The first E-2D AHE aircraft, BuNo 166501, makes its first flight from St Augustine, Florida. (Northrop Grumman Corporation)

The US Navy (USN) has requested USD339.9 million in research and development (R&D) funds for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye (AHE), to replace old cockpit components, add a heads-up display, and ready the aircraft for the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) network.

The Hawkeye Cockpit Technical Refresh is intended to replace what the USN describes as “obsolete and failing” cockpit components, including the aircraft's Avionics Flight Management Computer. The programme would also add a heads-up display.

Early warning aircraft represent critical nodes in JADC2, the Pentagon's under-construction effort to link all major platforms and sensors into the same network. The Theater Combat Identification (TCID) is meant to integrate the E-2 by making the aircraft's radar systems interoperable with the network.

The Cooperative Engagement Capability and Signal Data Processor programme “will provide processing and cryptographic upgrades” to upgrade the E-2's participation in the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air network by bringing the computer software aboard into Delta System Software Configuration 5.

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