Northrop Grumman has conducted the first flight of an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye jet fitted with a new aerial refueling system that company designed to extend the aircraft’s mission time capacity.
The company said Thursday the updated E-2D airborne early warning aircraft includes new electrical and lighting, endurance seats, probe and associated piping to support aerial refueling capacity as well as increase the field of view in the cockpit.
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is designed to help the U.S. Navy commence battle management command and control with battlespace awareness, multiple sensor fusion, theater air and missile defense capacity.
Jane Bishop, vice president of Northrop’s E-2/C-2 programs, said the E-2D’s aerial refueling system will help offer combat persistence to the U.S. and its allies.
Northrop added the aerial refueling program aims to update three aircraft for testing and production cut-in and retrofit plans are slated to commence in 2018.