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NAVAIR confirms FMS contract for French E-2D Advanced Hawkeye buy

A model of an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye in French Navy markings, displayed at the Berlin Security Conference in November. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Northrop Grumman has been contracted by the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to manufacture and deliver three E-2D Advanced Hawkeye (AHE) carrier-borne airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft for the French Navy.

Awarded on 21 December, the USD353.6 million Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract marks the second export success for the E-2D AHE variant after Japan. France had signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance to procure three E-2D aircraft from the US Navy in December 2020.

The AĆ©ronautique navale (AĆ©ronavale) ā€“ the French Navy's air arm ā€“ operates three E-2C Hawkeye AEW&C aircraft for operations from the aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (two aircraft are routinely embarked at sea). Parented by 4 Flotille at Base AĆ©ronavale de Lann BihouĆ© in Brittany, the E-2C entered AĆ©ronavale service in 2000.

The three new E-2D AHE aircraft are scheduled for delivery by the end of April 2027. They will initially operate from Charles de Gaulle and further downstream they will embark on the French Navy's projected Porte-Avions de Nouvelle GƩnƩration, which is scheduled to enter service around 2038.

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