The US State Department has approved a contract to supply three E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Airborne early warning and control aircraft (AWACS) to the French Navy.
E-2D is the newest member of the family E-2 Hawkeye, which originated from the 1960s of the Cold War era.
Developed by Northrop Grumman, the E-2 Hawkeye is an all-weather airborne early warning aircraft to the naval task force. It provides warnings to the navy of approaching air threats, and provides location data and threat identification to fighter aircraft. It also performs auxiliary roles including strike command and control, surveillance, the guidance of search and rescue missions and as a relay to extend the range of communications.
In terms of design, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye has little change in appearance compared to previous generations. The highlight is the large radome seated over the aft-dorsal spine of the fuselage.
The E-2D has a length of 17.6m (57 ft 8 3⁄4 in), a wingspan of 24.56m (80 ft 7 in), and a height of 5.6m (18 ft 3 3⁄4 in). It has an empty weight of 18.23 tons (40,200 lb) and a maximum takeoff weight of 26 tons (57,500 lb).
As with most carrier-borne airplanes, the E-2D is equipped with a tail hook for recovery, and the nose gear can attach to a shuttle of the aircraft carrier’s catapults for launch. The tail unit incorporated a quad-finned plane arrangement and the horizontal sections are cranked upwards.
The E-2D is equipped with two more powerful and more economical than the previous versions, Allison T56-A-427A turboprop engines with a fully automated digital control system of the power units. Each engine produces 5,100 horsepower. The presence of more powerful electric generators significantly increases the power of the machine.
The E-2D can reach a top speed of 650 km/h (400 mph), cruise speed 474 km/h (295 mph), service ceiling of 10,600 m (34,700 ft), and ferry range of 2,708 km (1,682 mi).
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye uses advanced electronic sensors combined with digital computer signal processing, especially its radars, for early warning of enemy aircraft attacks and anti-ship missile attacks, and the control of the carrier’s combat air patrol fighters, and secondarily for surveillance of the surrounding sea and land for enemy warships and guided-missile launchers, and any other electronic surveillance missions as directed.
- Crew: 5: pilot, copilot, radar officer (RO), combat information center officer (CICO), aircraft control officer (ACO)
- Length: 57 ft 8 3⁄4 in (17.596 m)
- Wingspan: 80 ft 7 in (24.56 m)
- Height: 18 ft 3 3⁄4 in (5.582 m) : Radome could retract by 2 feet to fit into the 17′ 6″ clear height hangar of Essex and Midway class carriers. Retraction function no longer used.
- Wing area: 700 sq ft (65 m2)
- Aspect ratio: 9.15
- Airfoil: root: NACA 63A216; tip: NACA 63A414
- Empty weight: 40,200 lb (18,234 kg)
- Gross weight: 43,068 lb (19,535 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 57,500 lb (26,082 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × Allison/Rolls-Royce T56-A-427 (E-2C), T56-A-427A (E-2D) turboprop, 5,100 shp (3,800 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 350 kn (400 mph, 650 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 256 kn (295 mph, 474 km/h)
- Ferry range: 1,462 nmi (1,682 mi, 2,708 km)
- Endurance: 6 hours (8 hours land-based)
- Service ceiling: 34,700 ft (10,600 m)
- Wing loading: 72.7 lb/sq ft (355 kg/m2)
- Power/mass: 0.19 hp/lb (0.31 kW/kg)
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