PHILADELPHIA –Military avionics experts at Northrop Grumman Corp. will provide ruggedized power electronics components for the U.S. Navy E-2D Hawkeye carrier-based airborne early warning aircraft under terms of two contracts announced Thursday collectively worth $81.3 million.
Officials of the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency aviation branch in Philadelphia awarded the two contracts to the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems segment in Melbourne, Fla., for E-2 power components.
The first contract, for $66.4 million, asks Northrop Grumman to provide E-2 aircraft power amplifier modules. The second contract, for $14.9 million, asks the company to provide E-2 aircraft high voltage power supplies. Both contracts were awarded sole-source.
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is a twin-engine turboprop aircraft designed to take off and land on aircraft carriers. Its large saucer-like radar antenna mounted to the top of the aircraft enables it to detect hostile aircraft and missiles at extremely long ranges and vector Navy aircraft to intercept.
Northrop Grumman officials call the E-2D a "digital quarterback" to sweep ahead of Navy aircraft carrier strike groups, manage missions, and keep U.S. network-centric carrier battle groups out of harm's way. The aircraft provides battle management, theater air and missile defense, and multi-sensor fusion capabilities.
Compared with its E-2C predecessor, the E-2D has a new radar with mechanical and electronic scanning capabilities; glass cockpit; advanced identification friend or foe (IFF) system; new mission computer and tactical workstations; electronic support measures enhancements; an d modernized communications and data link suite, Northrop Grumman officials say.
The plane is nearly 58 feet long, has an 80-foot wingspan, can fly faster than 300 knots, and can fly to altitudes as high as 37.000 feet. It carriers a crew of five: two pilots and three mission systems operators. The co-pilot also can act as a fourth mission systems operator.
The E-2D first flew in 2007, and Navy officials say they hope to procure 73 of these aircraft by 2022. Full-rate production of the E-2D is scheduled for this year, and the aircraft should go to the fleet in 2015.
Historically Northrop Grumman has managed the E-2 program from its facility in Bethpage, N.Y., but the company will assemble the aircraft in Melbourne, Fla. The company no longer builds aircraft at its Bethpage facility.
On these two contracts Northrop Grumman will do the work in Melbourne, Fla., and should be finished by June 2023. For more information contact Northrop Grumman Aerospace online at www.northropgrumman.com, or Defense Logistics Agency aviation branch at www.dla.mil/Aviation.
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