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First flown in late 1960, the Hawkeye was designed to provide AEW (airborne early warning) for the US Navy’s carriers. By 1968, the E-2 was equipped with Doppler Radar and has been the “Eye in the sky” for the Navy for more than thirty years.
This all-weather, carrier-based platform features a 24 foot radome that revolves at six RPM and retracts 24” for carrier stowage.
The three system operator crewmen with highly specialized electronic equipment can simultaneously search, identify and track more than six million cubic miles of airspace and hundreds of targets.
The E-2C can also provide strike and traffic control, search and rescue guidance, navigation assistance and automatic digital communications relay.
In 1999, The US Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $1.3 billion dollar contract to build 21 E-2C Hawkeye 2000’s. An additional $1.9 billion was given in 2003 for system development and demonstration (SDD) of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, which is expected to enter service by 2011.